Operationalizing the Construct "Social Support" 2484
Specialist of the City Institute for Integrative (inclusive) Education, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia
The article discloses the content of the concept of social support. The description of the concept construct includes the notions of social networking, ethics, theory of operation. It lists information about the role of social support in difficult life situation, its place in the coping models. Social support is regarded as a resource of self-regulation, which in the opinion of the majority of authors plays a key role in prevention of stress. A high level of social support mitigates the negative effects of high-intense stress, neutralizes it, and serves as a buffer between a stressor and a man and thereby ensures the preservation of man’s health. A low level of social support in a highly stressful situation does not provide a buffer effect and fails to prevent health damage.
Social support promotes stress management in three ways: by increasing self-esteem; thanks to the help of others in a changing stress situation; through incorporation of the significant other’s assessment into one’s own system which changes the emotional response to stressogenic factors and makes it possible to see the situation "in different eyes".
Keywords: social support; buffer theory; a concept of basic effect; social network; difficult life situation
Column: Social psychology
- Abbott-Chapman J., Denholm C., Wyld C. Social support as a factor inhbiting
teenage risk-taking [Electronic resource]: Views of students, parents and
professionals. Journal of Youth Studies, 2008. Vol. 11, no. 6, pp.
611–627. Available at:
- Assessing Social Support: The Social Support Questionnaire [Electronic
resource]. I.G. Sarason [et al.]. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 1983. Vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 127–139. Available at:
http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/44/1/127/ (Accessed: 15.12.2014).
- Ayman R., Antani A. Chapter 16. Social Support and Work-Family
Conflict. Handbook of Work-Family Integration: Research, Theory, and
Practices. London: Elsevier, 2008. pp. 287–304.
- Cardiovascular Reactivity and the Presence of Pets, Friends and Spouses
[Electronic resource]. K. Allen [et al.]. Psychosomatic Medicine, 2002.
Vol. 64, no. 5. pp. 727–739. Available at:
- Cobb S. Social support as a moderator of life stress [Electronic resource].
Psychosomatic Medicine, 1976. Vol. 38, pp. 300–314. Available at:
- Cohen S., Wills T.A. Stress, Social Support, and the Buffering Hypothesis
[Electronic resource]. Psychological Bulletin, 1985. Vol. 98, no. 2, pp.
310–357. Available at: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/98/2/310/ (Accessed:
- Cohen L.M., Frydenberg E. Coping for Capable Kids: Strategies for Parents,
Teachers and Students. Melbourne: Hawker Brownlow Inc.,1996. 296 p.
- Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human
Groups [Electronic resource]. A.W. Wooley [et al.].Science, 2010. Vol.
330, no. 6004, pp. 686–688. Available at:
- Guay S., Billette V., Marchand A. Exploring the links between posttraumatic
stress disorder and social support [Electronic resource]: Processes and
potential research avenues. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2006. Vol. 19,
no. 3, pp. 327–338. Available at:
- Hobfoll S.E. The Influence of Culture, Community and the Nested-self in the
Stress process [Electronic resource]: Advancing Conservation of Resources
Theory. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 2001. Vol. 50, no.
3, pp. 327–421. Available at:
- Koenigs M., Young L., Adolphs R. Damage the prefrontal cortex increases
utilitarian moral judgements [Electronic resource]. Nature, 2007, no
446, pp. 908–911. Available at:
- Kroenke C.H. Social Networks, Social Support and Survival after Breast
Cancer Diagnosis [Electronic resource]. Journal of Clinical oncology,
2006. Vol. 24, no. 7. pp. 1105–1011. Available at:
http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/24/7/1105.short (Accessed: 15.12.2014).
- Lack of Social Support and Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease in
Middle-Aged Swedish Men [Electronic resource]. K.A. Orth-Gomer [et al.].
Psychosomatic Medicine, 1993. Vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 37–43. Available at:
- Maddi S. The Courage and Strategies of Hardiness as Helpful in Growing
Despite Major, Disruptive Stresses [Electronic resource]. American
Psychologist, 2008. Vol. 63, no 6, pp. 563–564. Available at:
http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/amp/63/6/563/ (Accessed: 15.12.2014).
- Perrin K.M., McDermott R.J. Instruments to measure social support and
related constructs in pregnant adolescents [Electronic resource]: A review.
Adolescence, 1997. Vol. 32, no. 127, pp. 533–557. Available at:
http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1997-43738-004 (Accessed: 15.12.2014).
- Schwarzer R., Knoll N. Functional roles of social support within the stress
and coping process [Electronic resource]: A theoretical and empirical overview.
International Journal of Psychology, 2007. Vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 243–252.
- Schwarzer R., Lippke S., Luszczynska A. Mechanisms of health behavior
change in persons with chronic illness or disability [Electronic resource]: The
health action process approach (HAPA) . Rehabilitation Psychology, 2011.
Vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 161–170. Available at:
http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/rep/56/3/161/ (Accessed: 15.12.2014).
- Social support in pregnant and parenting adolescents [Electronic
resource]: Research, critique, and recommendations. M.C. Logsdo [et
al.]. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 2002.
Vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 75–83. Available at:
- Spiegel D., Yalom I. Group support for Patients with Metastatic Cancer
[Electronic resource]: A randomized prospective outcome study. Archiver of
General Psychiatry, 1981. Vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 527–533. Available at:
- Wills T.A., Shinar O. Measuring perceived and received social support.
Social support measurement and intervention: a guide for health and social
scientists. S. Cohen, L.G. Underwood, B.H. Gottlieb editors. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2000, pp. 86–135.
- Yadav S. Perceived social support, hope, and quality of life of persons
living with HIV/AIDS: a case study from Nepal. Quality of Life Research.
2010, Vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 157–166.