The effects of shyness and social support on collectivism and depression

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Hodge, Tatiana
White, Michael J.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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Knowing some of the cultural tenets that may be related to depression can help inform counseling. Culture will be measured using collectivism, which is defined as being more orientated to others, rather than to oneself. It was hypothesized that shyness and social support would be related to both collectivism and depression. Shyness would be associated with an increase in collectivism and depression, while social support would be associated with an increase in collectivism and a decrease in depression. Social support however, would be more strongly related to depression than shyness. It was found that more social support was indeed significantly related to lower depression, and higher levels of collectivism. Shyness was significantly related to higher levels of depression but it was also related to a lower collectivistic level, though not significantly. An interaction was found between shyness and social support on the outcome of depression, which means that the higher the social support, the less impact shyness has on depression. Further studies should focus on research that more clearly defines a relationship between depression and collectivism using shyness and social support as predictors.