Often times, examples from published research illustrate how constructs are operationalized (translated from ideas into measurable variables). Examples also show how conclusions are drawn about relationships between social networks and social support and health better.

As a result, this section highlights real-world applications of social networks and social support constructs in both an intervention and non-intervention study.


The first example is a cross-sectional study of social relationships and postpartum depression.

Source: Surkan, P.J., Peterson, K.E., Hughes, M.D., & Gottlieb, B.R. (2006). The role of social networks and support in postpartum women's depression: A multiethnic urban sample. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 375-383.



The effects of an intervention designed to increase social support for weight loss and maintenance were tested among 166 volunteers recruited through newspaper advertisements in two cities.

Source: Wing, R.R., Jeffery, R. W. (1999). Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 132-138.