Social support and physical health: The importance of belonging

Cara J. Hale, James W. Hannum, Dorothy L. Espelage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social support is a multifaceted construct recognized as a significant predictor of physical health. In this study, the authors examined several support domains simultaneously in a sample of 247 college students to determine their unique prediction of physical health perceptions and physical symptoms. They also examined gender differences across social support and physical health. Their findings indicated that belonging predicted better health perceptions for women and fewer physical symptoms for men, suggesting that a sense of connection to a group of others is a key support component for the physical health of college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005


  • College students
  • Physical health
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Education


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