Academic Stress, Supportive Communication, and Health

Erina L. MacGeorge
Wendy Samter
Seth J. Gillihan

Document Type Article

Published in Communication Education, volume 54 issue 4, 2005. Bryant users may access this article here.


Academic stress is associated with a variety of negative health outcomes, including depression and physical illness. The current study examined the capacity of supportive communication reported as being received from friends and family to buffer the association between academic stress and health. College students completed measures of academic stress, of supportive communication received (emotional and informational), and of health status (depression and symptoms of physical illness). Results indicated that the positive association between academic stress and depression decreased as informational support increased. In addition, emotional support was negatively associated with depression across levels of academic stress. The findings are discussed with respect to reducing negative health outcomes for individuals experiencing academic stress.