Providing Social Support May Be More Beneficial Than Receiving It: Results From a Prospective Study of Mortality

Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48106-1248, USA.
Psychological Science (Impact Factor: 4.43). 08/2003; 14(4):320-7. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9280.14461
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examines the relative contributions of giving versus receiving support to longevity in a sample of older married adults. Baseline indicators of giving and receiving support were used to predict mortality status over a 5-year period in the Changing Lives of Older Couples sample. Results from logistic regression analyses indicated that mortality was significantly reduced for individuals who reported providing instrumental support to friends, relatives, and neighbors, and individuals who reported providing emotional support to their spouse. Receiving support had no effect on mortality once giving support was taken into consideration. This pattern of findings was obtained after controlling for demographic, personality, health, mental health, and marital-relationship variables. These results have implications for understanding how social contact influences health and longevity.

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Available from: Randolph M Nesse, Sep 28, 2015
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    • "actions providers perform (S. L. Brown et al., 2003; Dunkel- Schetter & Skokan, 1990). Second, other researchers concentrate instead on providers' emotional support, typically measuring providers' empathy or emotional responsiveness (Batson, Duncan, Ackerman, Buckley, & Birch, 1981; Reis, Clark, & Holmes, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals in close relationships help each other in many ways, from listening to each other's problems, to making each other feel understood, to providing practical support. However, it is unclear if these supportive behaviors track each other across days and as stable tendencies in close relationships. Further, although past work suggests that giving support improves providers' well-being, the specific features of support provision that improve providers' psychological lives remain unclear. We addressed these gaps in knowledge through a daily diary study that comprehensively assessed support provision and its effects on well-being. We found that providers' emotional support (e.g., empathy) and instrumental support represent distinct dimensions of support provision, replicating prior work. Crucially, emotional support, but not instrumental support, consistently predicted provider well-being. These 2 dimensions also interacted, such that instrumental support enhanced well-being of both providers and recipients, but only when providers were emotionally engaged while providing support. These findings illuminate the nature of support provision and suggest targets for interventions to enhance well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Emotion 08/2015; 2015(15):484 – 493. DOI:10.1037/emo0000084 · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Although emotional support has traditionally been conceived as something an individual receives, scholars have found that providing emotional support for others produces positive effects on psychosocial outcomes (Namkoong et al., 2013). Individuals appear to benefit from taking a pro-social " provider " role (Brown et al., 2003). Providing social support can lead to benefits such as improved mental health (Schwartz, Meisenhelder, Ma, & Reed, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: The growth of online support groups has led to an expression effects paradigm within the health communication literature. Although religious support expression is characterized as a typical sub-dimension of emotional support, we argue that in the context of a life-threatening illness, the inclusion of a religious component creates a unique communication process. Using data from an online group for women with breast cancer, we test a theoretical expression effects model. Results demonstrate that for breast cancer patients, religious support expression has distinct effects from general emotional support messages, which highlights the need to further theorize expression effects along these lines.
    Health Communication 01/2015; · 0.97 Impact Factor
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    • "With regard to social interaction, both the receipt and provision of social support have been found to enhance health (Brown, et al., 2003; Christensen, et al., 1999). Researchers believe that social interaction contributes to a therapeutic "
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: This article discusses the use of positive distraction, an evidence-based design approach, in rehabilitation hospitals in Brazil through the work of João Filgueiras Lima (“Lelé”). BACKGROUND: In many parts of the world architects may not formally incorporate theories of positive distraction and evidence-based design, but there are multiple international examples of health facility architects and designers that use nature, daylighting, art, and social interaction to enhance the healing experience. The work of the Brazilian architect João Filgueiras Lima is a particularly salient example. Lima has been a dominant figure in 20th and 21st century Brazilian architecture and the architect of several rehabilitation facilities. METHODS: First positive distraction is defined as it relates to nature and art, and in the context of rehabilitation hospitals. Second, rehabilitation facilities are defined. The discussion then focuses on awareness of evidence-based design in Latin America. Next, Brazilian healthcare architecture is discussed along with the history of the Brazilian Sarah rehabilitation hospitals designed by Lelé and Lelé's role in the history of Brazilian architecture. Last we look at Lelé's use of positive distraction. RESULTS: Despite Lelé's recognition in Brazil, his work has not gained much international exposure. Lelé played a critical role in the design of the Sarah facilities and served on the board of directors for the Technological Center of the Sarah Network (CTRS) in Brazil from 1992 to 2009. Based on our review of his work it was clear that Lelé used positive distraction as a tool for creating healing environments. CONCLUSIONS: In spite of the lack of formal integration of evidence-based design in healthcare architecture in Latin America, many of its basic tenets have been incorporated in Brazilian rehabilitation hospitals. Lelé's projects are a clear example of this phenomenon and demonstrate an alignment between research and practitioner objectives. The presence of nature, art, and natural light in his rehabilitation hospitals serves as a model for evidence-based design in facilities throughout the world and presents an opportunity to measure the benefits of positive distraction on rehabilitation patient outcomes.
    HERD 08/2014; 8(1):199-227. DOI:10.1177/193758671400800113 · 0.39 Impact Factor
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