Student Mental Health: The Influence of Perceived Social Support

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 4
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Session 2: Promoting Social and Emotional Development

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. identify the different levels of the Bronfenbrenner’s model and the finer details of the microsystem impacting student mental health.
  2. summarize the importance of social support as provided to students at the institutional level by nonrelated adult(s) and peers.
  3. design or revise interventions addressing the nonfamilial social support needs of students to impact mental health and wellness.


Early adolescence (ages 10–14) can be described as a transitional time full of significant changes in physiology, emotional regulation, and social orientation as they seek separation and individuation from their families. It is also a time when a number of mental health concerns emerge. This study describes the predictive relationship of nonfamily perceived social support (i.e., teachers, peers, significant adults) to internalizing and externalizing symptoms reported by middle schoolers.



Abigail Geis, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Robert J. Dixon, University of Wisconsin La Crosse


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