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To what extent are close relationships essential for optimal human functioning and psychological well-being

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Introduction

To what extent are close relationships essential for optimal human functioning and psychological wellbeing? Intro Many theorists and researchers have proposed that optimal human functioning and an individual's psychological wellbeing is determined to a large extent by the quality of one's relationship with others. Our relationships with others form a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. This essay discusses the effects of relationships on human development and behaviour; with particular focus on how important relationships and social support are to a person's wellbeing. According to Kahneman, we are yet to come up with a scientific measure of wellbeing. An individual's well being is a many-sided construct consisting of a complex interaction of cultural, social, psychological, physical, economic and spiritual factors. Positive Psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning; this essay will address Main Body The question "Are relationships important in predicting psychological well-being?" ...read more.

Middle

Less than 50% of stressful negative events are due to conflicts in relationships causing it to end. Most common problems presented in psychotherapy are actually relationship problems. Research has also suggested that high levels of social support can be linked to positive health outcomes. According to Uchino et al. (1996) the amount of social support a person receives can influence their physiological well being and functioning. Uchino, Cacioppo, and Kiecolt-Glaser found in their review of 81 studies that social support was related to positive effects on the cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems. Evidence also shows that there is a tie between relationships and survival in human beings; the importance of relationships can also determine mortality in people. Berkman and Syme (1979) Weiss proposed six social functions or provisions, which may be obtained from social interactions: attachment (emotional support), social integration (network support), reassurance of worth (esteem support), reliable alliance (tangible aid), guidance (informational support), and opportunity for nurturance. ...read more.

Conclusion

Social integration, health, and personal well-being. Social integration and affiliation play an important part in the maintenance of both physical and mental well-being (e.g., Cohen & Wills, 1985; Schwartzer & Leppin, 1992; Stroebe & Stroebe, 1996). It has long been known that social support from and affiliation with others reduce stress (Amoroso & Walters, 1967; Schachter, 1959), and that stress is a major source of physical illness and psychological problems (Friedman & Rosenman, 1974; Rahe & Arthur, 1978). Individuals lacking social support and integration appear vulnerable to stress-related physical and emotional problems (e.g., heart disease, depression, loneliness) because they lack the essentials that are available only through interpersonal transactions and relationships (Stroebe & Stroebe, 1996; Schwartzer & Leppin, 1992). Indeed, there is a greater chance of early death due to stress-related illnesses among those who lack community and social ties than among those who do not (Berkman & Syme, 1979; House, Robbins, & Metzner, 1982). ...read more.

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