Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Social Support, Personal Control and Psychological Functioning Among Individuals with Heart Failure

Taylor, Melissa Virginia (2005) Social Support, Personal Control and Psychological Functioning Among Individuals with Heart Failure. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (1MB) | Preview


Heart failure, a serious and prevalent chronic disease, places a large psychosocial burden on patients and their families. The research presented in this dissertation focuses on the complex relationship between social support and personal control and two key psychological outcomes— depression and anxiety—in individuals coping with heart failure. Theoretically defensible models are developed, drawing on an integrative stress coping framework, and appropriate inferential statistical procedures are implemented to identify the importance of the proposed relationships in a sample of 242 adult men and women being treated for cardiomyopathy. Two structural models are evaluated. Model 1 examines the mediating influence of personal control between social support and depression, while Model 2 examines the mediating influence of control between social support and anxiety. Statistically significant estimates indicate that social support plays a key role in reducing psychological distress—depressive symptoms and anxiety. The mechanism whereby social support effectively reduces psychological distress is entirely through patients' perceived control. An additional objective of the study is exploration of gender differences in the two models. A series of empirical analyses, using path analysis and regression-based mediation models, indicate that among heart failure patients there are indeed statistically significant gender differences in the relationships between social support, control, and psychological functioning. These differences were contingent on the measurement of control included in the model. Evidence suggests that the role of social support is greater for women than for men in reducing psychological distress, as indicated by either depressive symptoms or anxiety.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Taylor, Melissa
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBurke, Loralbu100@pitt.eduLBU100
Committee CoChairBohachick, Patriciapab@pitt.eduPAB
Committee MemberBrown,
Committee MemberSchlenk, Elizabethels100@pitt.eduELS100
Committee MemberSereika, Susanssereika@pitt.eduSSEREIKA
Date: 25 April 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 6 April 2005
Approval Date: 25 April 2005
Submission Date: 21 April 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Nursing > Nursing
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: anxiety; depression; personal control; psychological functioning; social support
Other ID:, etd-04212005-115213
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:39
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item