Abstract

Background: Social support is emotional and instrumental assistance from family, friends or neighbors, and has an important but different impact on individuals, mainly depending on contextual factors. 

Objective: To determine the status of perceived social support and related personal and family characteristics of medical sciences students in Ahvaz, Iran.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the target population included the students of Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in the second semester of 2013-2014, of whom 763 were selected by cluster random sampling method. The study tool was a two-part questionnaire containing 48 self-administered questions including 25 questions of measurements of personal and family characteristics and a Persian modified version of Vaux's social support scale (Cronbach's α=0.745).  Data were analyzed with T test, ANOVA and chi-square and using SPSS version 16 and 0.05 was considered as the level of significance. 

Results: The mean score of the perceived social support was 17.06±3.6 and 60.3% of them reported low social support. There was a significant relationship among the perceived social support and sex (p=0.02), faculty (p<0.0001), ethnicity (p=0.034) and the duration of weekly residence in dormitory (p=0.031). But no significant relationship was found between this variable and other individual and familial characteristics.

Conclusion: Based on students` low social support and importance of social support in reducing stress and academic failure, the planners need to provide efficient supportive interventions for students.

 

Keywords: Social support, Medical student, Medical school
 
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