Perceived social support : a differential predictor of stress, loneliness, and personality among the English speaking expatriates in Germany
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BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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No previous studies have examined the risk factor of social support among English speaking expatriates in Germany. The present study explored the relationship between social support, personality, stress, and loneliness, in a sample of eighty-four expatriates (21 men and 63 women) in Germany. Also examined were variables that predict positive acculturation. Assessments were derived using standardised questionnaires. Results indicate: (a) significant associations between social support and stress (r=-.611, p<0.01, two tailed), (b) social support and loneliness (r= -.843, p<0.05, two tailed); (c) loneliness and stress (r= .634, p<0.01, two tailed), (d) self-esteem and stress (r= -.658, p<0.01, two tailed), and (e) self-esteem and belonging (r=- .666, p<0.01, two tailed). In addition, results from the independent T -Test indicate a significant difference between men and women in (a) social support (t= -2.400, df.=25.979, p<0.02, two tailed), and (b) loneliness (t= 2.553, df= 29.805, p< 0.05, two tailed), but no difference in (c) stress. Finally, results from a further independent T -Test indicate a significant difference between 'strong' and 'weak' social support groups in (a) stress (t=-5.412, df.=82, p<0.001, two tailed); (b) loneliness (t=- 7.392, df=62.419, p<0.001, two tailed); (c) extraversion (t=3.281, df.= 63.615, p< 0.02, two tailed); and (d) neuroticism (t=-2.880, df=81, p<0.05, two tailed). The findings highlight the importance of social support as a buffer against acculturative stress.