Chibuzor Uchenna ONUOHA, Aderonke Adebola AKINTOLA


  Positive psychology research suggests that social support is related to healthy psychological functioning of individuals. This study examined the direct influence of perceived social support on psychological well-being dimensions among a sample of undergraduate students in Nigeria. The research was designed as a cross-sectional ex post facto study. Participants included 142 male and 162 female non-indigene first year undergraduate students in a state-owned semi-rural university. Their mean age is 19.68 (S.D = 2.35). A self-report structured questionnaire with revalidated scales were administered on study participants. Results showed significant main effect of perceived social support on psychological well-being {F (6, 295) = 6.28, p = .000; Wilks’ ˄ = 0.78, partial ƞ2 = .113}. Result for independent influence showed that more favorable perception of social support predicted autonomy, positive relations and self-acceptance. It is recommended that access to more social support sources be improved for non-indigene first year students as this enhanced their psychological well-being




Perceived social support, psychological well-being, non-indigene students, Nigeria

Full Text:



Bewick, B., Koutsopoulou, G., Miles, J., Slaa, E., & Barkham, M. (2010). Changes in undergraduate students’ psychological well‐being as they progress through university. Studies in Higher Education, 35 (6), 633-645

Barrera, M. (1986).Distinctions between social support concepts, measures, and models. American Journal of Community Psychology, 14 (4), 413-445

Brislin, R., & Yoshida, T. (1994). Intercultural communication training: An introduction. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Brown, S. L., Nesse, R. M., Vinokur, A. D., & Smith, D. M. (2003). Providing social support may be more beneficial than receiving it: Results from a prospective study of mortality. Psychological Science, 14(4), 320–327

Bucker, S., Nuraydin, S., Simosmeier, B.A., Schneider, M., & Luhmann, M. (2018). Subjective well-being and academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 7, 83-94.

Castillo, L. G., Conoley, C. W., & Brossart, D. F. (2004). Acculturation, White marginalization, and family support as predictors of perceived distress in Mexican American female college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 151–157. doi: 10.1037/0022-0167.51.2.151

Chatters, L. M., Taylor, R. J., Woodward, A. T., & Nicklett, E. J. (2015). Social support from church and family members and depressive symptoms among older African Americans. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 23, 559-567

Chirkov, V., Vansteenkiste, M., Tao, R., & Lynch, M. (2007). The role of self-determined motivation and goals for study abroad in the adaptation of international students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 31 (2), 199-222

Cohen, S. (2004). Social Relationships and Health. American Psychologist, 59 (8), 676–84

Cohen, S., & Willis, T.A. (1985). Stress, social support and the buffering hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 98 (2), 310–57

Cutrona, C.E (1990). Types of social support and specific stress: Toward a theory of optimal matching. In Sarason, B.R.; Sarason, I.G.; Pierce, G.R. Russell, D.W. New York: Wiley & Sons. pp. 319–366.

Diaz, T., & Bui, N.H. (2017). Subjective well-being in Mexican and Mexican American women: The role of acculturation, ethnic identity, gender roles, and perceived social support. Journal of Happiness Studies, 18 (2), 607-624

Emanuel, A.S., Howell, J.L., Taber, J.M., Ferrer, R.A., Klein, W.M.P., & Harris, P.R. (2018). Spontaneous self-affirmation is associated with psychological well-being: Evidence from a US national adult survey sample. Journal of Health Psychology, 23 (1), 95-102.

Finch, J. F., Okun, M. A., Pool, G. J., & Ruehlman, L. S. (1999). A comparison of the influence of conflictual and supportive social interactions on psychological distress. Journal of Personality, 67 (4), 581–621.

Frisch, M. B. (2005). Quality of life therapy. New York: Wiley.

Frisch, M. B. (2014). Quality-of-life-inventory. In Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research (pp. 5374-5377). Springer Netherlands

Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91(3), 481-510

Hernandez, R., Bassett, S.M., Boughton, S.W., Schuette, S.A., Shiu, E.W., & Moskowitz, J.T. (2018). psychological well-being and physical health: associations, mechanisms, and future directions. Emotion Review, 10 (1), 18-29.

Johnsen, T.L., Eriksen, H.R., Indahl, A., & Tveito, T.H. (2017). Directive and nondirective social support in the workplace – is this social support distinction important for subjective health complaints, job satisfaction, and perception of job demands and job control? Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 46 (3), 358-367.

Lee, S., Chung, J. E., & Park, N. (2016). Network environments and well-Being: An examination of personal network structure, social capital, and perceived social support. Health Communication, 33(1), 22-31.

Mohammad, A.H., Sadat, N.A., Yim, L.S., & Chinna, K. (2015). Validity and reliability of the hausa version of multidimensional scale of perceived social support index. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 17(2). doi: 10.5812/ircmj.18776

Nielsen, I., Newman, A., Smyth, R., Hirst, G., & Heilemann, B. (2016). The influence of instructor support, family support and psychological capital on the well-being of postgraduate students: a moderated mediation model. Studies in Higher Education, 42(11), 2099-2115

Papier, K., Ahmed, F., Lee, P., & Wiseman, J. (2015). Stress and dietary behaviour among first-year university students in Australia: Sex differences. Nutrition, 31(2), 324-330.

Parker, J. D., Summerfeldt, L. J., Hogan, M. J., & Majeski, S. A. (2004). Emotional intelligence and academic success: Examining the transition from high school to university. Personality and Individual Differences, 36(1), 163-172.

Rodriguez, N., Mira, C. B., Paez, N. D., & Myers, H. F. (2007). Exploring the complexities of familism and acculturation: Central constructs for people of Mexican origin. American Journal of Community Psychology, 39, (1&2), 61–77.

Royal College of Psychiatrists (2011). Mental Health of Students in Higher Education. College Report CR166. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations of the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1069-1081.

Ryff, C. D. & Keyes, C. L. M. (1995). The structure of Psychological wellbeing revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69 (4), 719–727

Salam, A., Mahadevan, R., Abdul Rahman, A., Abdullah, N., Abd Harith, A. A., & Shan, C. P. (2015). Stress among first and third year medical students at University Kebangsaan Malaysia. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 31(1), 169-173

Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish. New York: Free Press.

Sharifian, N., & Gruhn, D. (2018). The differential impact of social participation and social support on psychological well-being: Evidence from the Wisconsin longitudinal study. International Journal of Aging and Human Development.

Sherman, D. K., & Cohen, G. L. (2006). The psychology of self-defense: Self-affirmation theory. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.) Advances in experimental social psychology, 38, pp. 183-242. New York, NY: Guildford Press

Siedlecki, K.L., Salthouse, T.A., Oishi, S., & Jeswani, S. (2014). The relationship between social support and subjective well-being across age. Social Indicators Research, 117 (2), 561-576

Smith, R.A., & Khawaja, N.G. (2011). A review of the acculturation experiences of international students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35 (6), 699-713

Topham, P., & Moller, N. (2011). New students' psychological well-being and its relation to first year academic performance in a UK university. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 11 (3), 196-203

Uchino, B., Bowen, K., Carlisle, M., & Birmingham, W. (2012). Psychological pathways linking social support to health outcomes: A visit with the “ghosts” of research past, present, and future. Social Science & Medicine, 74(7), 949–957

Wedgeworth, M., LaRocca, M.A., Chaplin, W.F., & Scogin, F. (2017). The role of interpersonal sensitivity, social support, and quality of life in rural older adults. Geriatric Nursing, 30 (1), 22-26.

Wongpakaran, T., Wongpakaran, N., & Ruktrakul, R. (2011). Reliability and validity of the multidimensional scale of perceived social support (MSPSS): Thai Version. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 7, 161-166.

Zimet, G.D., Dahlem, N.W., Zimet, S.G., & Farley, G.K. (1988). The multidimensional scale of perceived social support. Journal of Personality Assessment, 52, 30-41


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.