social study

Study Shows The Importance Of Social Support In Buffering Genetic Depression Risk

A recent study from the University of California has revealed the importance of social support in buffering genetic depression risk. The study found that social support helped to reduce the genetic effect of depression, which strengthens the understanding that being part of a supportive community can protect individuals from feeling mentally ill.

Benefits of Social Support

The study helps to support previous research which points to the positive effects of social support on psychological well-being, such as:

  • Reduce Stress – Having a supportive social network can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, associated with a host of mental health disorders.
  • Increase Self-Esteem – A supportive community or network can help boost self-esteem, leading to increased happiness, confidence and a greater positive outlook on life.
  • Improved Health – People with strong social connections have been found to have improved cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation, and a stronger immune system.

The Role of Genetics and Environment

The study suggests that psychological health is a result of a complex interaction between genetic-level and environmental factors. The environment that individuals are exposed to can interact with their genetic makeup, leading to varying levels of susceptibility towards developing mental health-related issues.

For this reason, the authors of the study concluded that social support helps to counteract the genetic predisposition for depression, suggesting that having a circle of supportive family or friends act as a buffer to those at risk of developing the disorder.


This study highlights the importance of having supportive individuals in one’s life, making it clear that social connections are critical in reducing the risk of developing mental health issues such as depression. While genes can be hard to control, social support can be strengthened and cultivated through positive relationships, activities, and mutual connection with others.

Overall, having strong social connections or personal relationships can be beneficial in providing comfort and protection against depression, reinforcing the need to foster meaningful connections for optimal wellbeing.