Institutional Repository, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
|Alternative Title||The associations between peer networks and mental health of adolescents suffering from major chronic stress and the effects of psychological intervention on social networks|
|Place of Conferral||中国科学院心理研究所|
|Keyword||社会网络 心理健康 慢性应激 抑郁 基于行动者的随机模型|
本研究共包括两部分。研究1选取毛中补习中心七个班级的学生进行问卷填写（N = 1062，平均年龄18.46岁，女生占比50.1%），在四个时间点（上学期开学后2、8、16周，下学期开学后4周）测量其抑郁水平、考试焦虑水平、领悟社会支持、社会网络数据等；回收数据进行班级网络建构，并采用社会网络分析对慢性应激下青少年社会网络和心理健康的关系及作用机制进行探讨。研究1包含两个子研究。
研究2B选取了两个复读班级参与青少年短程-社会网络干预（N = 311，平均年龄18.44岁，女生占比53.1%），并选取研究1的复读班作为对照组，对青少年短程-社会网络干预效果进行评估。结果发现，青少年短程-社会网络干预可以有效地提高班级网络的密度、互惠关系比率，提高班级网络中新增社会连接在网络变化中的比例，降低社会连接解除的比例；此外，社会网络干预对改善慢性应激环境中青少年的抑郁水平、提高主观社会支持方面具有良好的效果，而在改善考试焦虑方面效果不显著。
研究2C采用质性研究方法对青少年短程社会网络干预进行过程评估，选取参与干预的同学（N = 15，女生9人）接受半结构化访谈，了解受访者在复读期间的心理健康状况、同伴交往特点、参与干预时的感受和体验、对干预的主观评价等；对访谈资料进行分析，提取社会网络干预的有效性因素。结果显示，青少年短程-社会网络干预可以使青少年收获更多友谊，并有效地帮助他们缓解压力；这些干预效果与社会网络强连接、社会网络弱连接、社会网络普同性、社会网络归属感，和社会网络规则这五个重要的有效性因素密切相关。
Chronic stressors are predictors of adolescents’ mental health which may cause depression, anxiety and other psychological symptoms. While social support is one of the significant protective factors buffering against the harmful influence of stressful life events on depressive symptoms in adolescents. In recent years, the development of social network analysis provides new opportunities for understanding the interdependent relationships between social relations and behaviors. Although it is increasingly popular for research to employ social network methodology to investigate the interactions between peer networks and mental health outcomes such as depressive symptoms, few studies have identified bidirectional relationships in the context of major chronic stress. The fact that chronic stress will have impact not only on each individual but also on the ties between them in social networks suggests that in the context of major chronic stress, there might be a different mechanism of social selection and social influence.
The college entrance examination is one of the most important stressors for Chinese adolescents, while the students who returned to high school after failing the college entrance examination (also known as “returnees”) are suffering from more stressors than their regular peers. Therefore, the returnees from Mao Tanchang cram school were selected as typical samples. The study aims to explore the characteristics of the returnees’ social network, and the bidirectional relationships between social networks and mental health of adolescents. On the basis of that, a social network-based intervention program is designed to help returnees to promote their social interaction and improve their mental health.
The current study consists of two parts. In study I, students from seven classes in Mao Tanchang cram school (n = 1062, with an average age of 18.46 years, 50.1% females) were accessed for depression level, test anxiety level, perceived social support and friends nominations at four time points (2, 8 and 16 weeks after the beginning of the first semester, and 4 weeks after the beginning of the second semester). The data were collected for class network construction, and the social network analysis was used to analyze the associations between the social network and mental health of adolescents under major chronic stress. Study I was divided into two sub-studies.
In study 1A, we investigated the relationships between adolescents’ personal social network and mental health from an egocentric network perspective. The results showed that in the context of chronic stress, adolescents with more social connections, in the center of network, with higher proportion of reciprocity relationships in their egocentric social networks, or with higher density of egocentric social networks, often experience more perceived social support. And at time point 4, adolescents with more connections, higher centrality, higher individual network reciprocity and density tend to have a lower level of depression, while the level of test anxiety is not significantly related to the above individual network indicators across 4 waves.
In study 1B, the researches aimed to explore the bidirectional effects of the whole network and adolescents’ mental health from a sociocentric network perspective. The results showed that under the chronic stress, the level of depression and text anxiey would have an effect on adolescents’ popularity, but in different directions. The one with high levels of depression tend to be less popular, while the one with high levels of test anxiety tend to be more popular. And there is a significant clustering effects of depression and test anxiety. The main reason for the clustering effects of test anxiety is the process of social influence; that is, adolescents tend to adopt their peers’ levels of test anxiety. However, neither significant social selection process nor social influence process of depression symptoms has been found in our study. In addition, the level of adolescent depression will also be affected by the popularity of their nominated peers. To be specific, nominating popular peers can effectively reduce the level of individuals’ depression.
Based on the conclusions of study I, study II explores whether social network-based intervention can improve adolescents’ mental health by altering their social network. Study II includes three sub-studies.
Study 2A designed a short-term social network intervention program for adolescents under chronic stress of gaokao, which takes the Ecological systems theory, the Social contagion theories, and the Weak ties theory as theoretical bases, social network analysis as technical support, and group psychological counseling as practical basis. Considering the current situation of students in Maotanchang cram school, a short-term social network intervention program is designed for adolescents suffering from chronic stress. Two main lines and four modules of the intervention programs are illustrated in detail in this part.
In study 2B, two classes were selected to participate in the intervention of study 2A (n = 311, with an average age of 18.44 years, 53.1% females). The seven classes in study 1 was taken as the control group. The effects of short-term social network intervention were evaluated by comparing the social network characteristics and mental health of individuals from two groups. The results showed that the network-based intervention can effectively enhance the density and the proportion of reciprocity relationships in class network, and the proportion of new social ties formed in class during network dynamics. Although failed to reduce the level of test anxiety, social network intervention has a good effect in decreasing the depression symptoms and enhancing the perceived social support of adolescents in stressful context.
In study 2C, qualitive methods were used to evaluate the process of adolescent short-term social network intervention. Some of the students who participated in the intervention (n = 15, 9 females) received semi-structured interviews. The informations of their mental health status and peer communication patterns during that academic year, feelings and experiences when participating in the intervention, and subjective evaluation of the intervention were collected in the interviews. The interview data were analyzed to extract the treatment factors of social network intervention. The results showed that the short-term social network intervention could help adolescents to gain more friendships and effectively help them to relieve the stress. The effects of these interventions are closely related to five essential treatment factors: strong ties, weak ties, empathy, belongingness, and rules of social networks.
In conclusion, this study investigated the effects of adolescents’ social network on mental health under chronic stress by applying social network methodology. It provides further evidence of an interdependent and dynamic relationship between adolescents’ social networks and mental health in a stressful context, which manifested its theoretical significance. This study further evaluated the intervention effects of short-term social network intervention on adolescents’ mental health under chronic stress, and extracted five effective treatment factors. The conclusion of the current study provided a social network perspective and network-based intervention ideas for psychological practitioners. Therefore, it also has its practical significance.
|付琳. 慢性应激下青少年社会网络与心理健康的关系及干预[D]. 中国科学院心理研究所. 中国科学院心理研究所,2020.|
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