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      Social support in the general population: standardization of the Oslo social support scale (OSSS-3)


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          The objectives of the study were to generate normative data for the Oslo Social Support Scale (OSSS-3) for different age groups for men and women and to further investigate the factor structure in the general population.


          Nationally representative face-to face household surveys were conducted in Germany in 2008 ( n = 2524).


          Normative data for the Oslo Social Support Scale were generated for men and women (52.3% female) and different age levels (mean age (SD) of 48.9 (18.3) years). Men had mean scores comparable to women (10.1 [SD = 2.3] vs. 10.2 [SD = 2.2]). The EFA resulted in a clear one-factor solution for the OSSS-3.


          The normative data provide a framework for the interpretation and comparisons of social support with other populations.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (10.1186/s40359-018-0249-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references22

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          Assessing social support: The Social Support Questionnaire.

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            Negative life events, social support and gender difference in depression: a multinational community survey with data from the ODIN study.

            To explore if differences in negative life events, vulnerability and social support may explain the gender difference in depression. Cross-sectional, multinational, community survey from five European countries (n = 8,787). Depression is measured by Beck Depression Inventory, whereas negative life events and social support are measured by various questionnaires. Women report slightly more negative life events than men do, mainly related to the social network, but more social support in general and in connection with reported life events. This trend is the same in all participating countries except Spain, where there is no gender difference in the reported support. In general, women are not more vulnerable to negative life events than men are. However, women with no social support, who are exposed to life events, are more vulnerable than men without support. The higher rate of depression in women is not explained by gender differences in negative life events, social support or vulnerability.
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              The German Version of the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS)

              The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) is the most commonly used measure for life satisfaction. Although there are numerous studies confirming factorial validity, most studies on dimensionality are based on small samples. A controversial debate continues on the factorial invariance across different subgroups. The present study aimed to test psychometric properties, factorial structure, factorial invariance across age and gender, and to deliver population-based norms for the German general population from a large cross-sectional sample of 2519 subjects. Confirmatory factor analyses supported that the scale is one-factorial, even though indications of inhomogeneity of the scale have been detected. Both findings show invariance across the seven age groups and both genders. As indicators of the convergent validity, a positive correlation with social support and negative correlation with depressiveness was shown. Population-based norms are provided to support the application in the context of individual diagnostics.

                Author and article information

                +49/40/74 56808 , r.kocalevent@uke.de
                +49/40/74 56808 , lorenz.berg@uke.de
                +49/40/74 56808 , m.haerter@uke.de
                BMC Psychol
                BMC Psychol
                BMC Psychology
                BioMed Central (London )
                17 July 2018
                17 July 2018
                : 6
                : 31
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2180 3484, GRID grid.13648.38, Institute and Policlinic for Medical Psychology, , University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, ; Martinistr, 52, W26, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2180 3484, GRID grid.13648.38, Department of General Practice/Primary Care, , University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, ; Martinistr. 52, W26, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
                [3 ]GRID grid.410607.4, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, , University Medical Center Mainz, ; Langenbeckstraße 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2230 9752, GRID grid.9647.c, Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, , University of Leipzig, ; Ph.-Rosenthal-Str. 55, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [5 ]Faculty of Applied Human Studies, University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg and Stendal, Stendal, Germany
                [6 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2286 1424, GRID grid.10420.37, Department of Psychology, , University of Vienna, ; Vienna, Austria
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                : 26 April 2017
                : 5 July 2018
                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2018

                social support,factor structure,normative data
                social support, factor structure, normative data


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