Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Alan Leschied


Social support has been a significant area of interest in terms of protective factors for children and youth who have experienced maltreatment. The present study examines whether social support exhibits a main effect or a buffering effect on anxiety and depression symptoms in children and youth using the interRAI ChYMH. Family and peer support in particular was explored in an attempt to evaluate a more specified view of social support. The sample consists of 615 participants from various children and youth mental health facilities across Canada. Results indicate no support for the buffering model of social support, while statistical significance was found for the main effect of family support in relation to lower anxiety scores. Females, in particular, were found to report significantly less anxiety symptoms when family support was present, yet higher anxiety scores when peer support was present. Discussion investigates the clinical prevention and intervention possibilities that the findings yielded.