Chapter 14: The role of perceived stress and absence of interpersonal support in alcohol involvement among adolescents in Nigeria by James E. Effiong. Sampson K. Nwonyi, Adedeji J. Ogunleye & Aniekan S. Ubom


Stress. whether perceived or real, is fundamentally an interactive and dynamic construct because it rejects the interaction between the organism and the environment over time (Monroe, 2008). Although some people adjust adaptively by developing various coping strategies, Sergeston& Miller, (2004) and McEwen (1998) posited that there are biological cost to stress when individuals over suppress their stressful experiences.
Perceived stress is a subjective assessment of stress that incorporates feelings about the uncontrollability and unpredictability of one’s lite, how much one has to cope with one’s life challenges. as well as a dwindled confidence in one’s ability to deal with problems or difficulties. It is our contention, therefore,
that perceived stress may be a reason for alcohol involvement. One of the dangers of perceived stress as a risk factor to alcohol involvement is its potential to create a situation of helplessness and depression (Cohen, Kamarck, & Miller, 1983). In certain settings like the University environment, students perception of
stress and their conjecture of how to cope may lead to depressive symptoms (Dyson &Renk, 2006), which may cause them to resort to alcohol use since depression is correlated with alcohol involvement (Numberger, Foroud, Flury,
Eric, Meyer, &Weigand, 2002). This problem may be aggravated when there is an absent of interpersonal support.
Interpersonal social support refers to resources, materials, and emotional cues made available to a person to help him overcome life’s challenges (Moak&Agrawal,2010). Individuals with ISS are less likely to be depressed. According to the buffering hypothesis (Cohen& Wills, 1985), increased interpersonal social support, even when it is perceived. acts as protective influence against stress and guard against mental health problems.