GENDER DIFFERENCES IN SOCIAL SUPPORT, PERCEIVED STRESS, AND PHYSICAL HEALTH SYMPTOMS IN UNDERGRADUATE SPORT STUDENTS
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Objective: The purpose of the present study was to examine the gender differences of social support, perceived stress and physical symptoms in undergraduate sport students. Method: Male (n = 10) and Female (n = 10) undergraduate sport student‟s completed measures of social support, perceived stress and physical symptoms. The participants completed the questionnaires every week for 6 weeks, thus utilising a repeated measures design. Results: Repeated measures MANOVA revealed the following key findings: a) Females perceived higher and more stable levels of social support over time; b) Females generally recorded lower levels of perceived stress and physical symptoms, than males. Thus meaning the heightened social support displayed by females, help them to cope better in times of stress, through lowered perceived stress and physical health outcomes. Conclusions: These results highlight the importance of a heightened perceived social support availability, which has numerous benefits including lowered perceived stress and physical symptoms in times of stress. Due to perceived social supports links to attachment, implications point towards the importance of positive early familial transactions in potentially enhancing an individual‟s perceived social support.
- Masters Degrees (Sport) 
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