The structure of social support: A Conceptual and empirical analysis
ABSTRACT The growth of research on social support has led to a comparable proliferation in the ways it is conceptualized and operationalized. The overall purpose of the present paper was to bring some clarity to this concept by critically examining how it has been presented in the literature and by proposing both rationally and empirically derived typologies for organizing social support functions. From a review of prominent discussions of support functions, a rational typology was proposed that included six categories: Material Aid, Behavioral Assistance, Intimate Interaction, Feedback, and Positive Social Interaction. To empirically examine the structure of social support, a factor analysis was conducted on items from a scale of socially supportive behaviors. The four factors that subsequently emerged were labeled Directive Guidance, Non-directive Support, Positive Social Interaction, and Tangible Assistance. Application of these findings to the assessment of support and future research on support/well-being relationships were discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine homeless women's interactions with service providers and the degree to which these interactions are perceived as social support. Design/methodology/approach – Using a phenomenological approach, in-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 homeless women recruited through a drop-in day shelter and a winter emergency shelter. Findings – Analysis revealed being "cared for" was experienced within service provider encounters and is commensurate with widely recognized sub-categories of received social support. Participants expressed expanded definitions of service providers and made clear distinctions between routine support expected from a provider and received social support, or being "cared for" by providers. Research limitations/implications – Studies with homeless persons that exclude service providers as a potential source of social support for homeless women or impose predetermined definitions of service provision may not be capturing the full range of participant encounters, relationships, networks, and experiences. Practical implications – Widely used social support measures could serve as a guide for creating education programs for persons who work with homeless people including: professional service providers, students likely to become service providers, paraprofessionals, nonprofessionals, and volunteers. Originality/value – Homeless women's voices have been added to the debate regarding whether social support is within the realm of service provision.
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ABSTRACT: Psychological factors have been recently proposed as cardiovascular risk factors. This study was designed to evaluate the association of lifelong coping strategies and social support with progression of chronic stable angina (CSA) to acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Coping strategies and social support of patients based on a stress management questionnaire and Norback social support questionnaire were evaluated in a case-control study. Seventy eight hospitalized patients with ACS and 146 patients with CSA were included as the case and control groups, respectively. Positive angiographic findings were defined as the criteria for CSA. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the aforementioned association. The mean age of 224 participants was 55±10.4 years and 69.6% of them were male. After adjusting for age, sex, and traditional coronary artery disease risk factors, acute life event [odds ratio (OR): 1.09, 1.05-1.13 95%CI], maladaptive coping strategies (OR: 5.81, 1.93-17.49 95%CI), adaptive coping strategies (OR: 0.21, 0.05-0.94 95%CI), total functional support (OR: 0.49, 0.26-0.97 95%CI), and total network support (OR: 0.27, 0.15-0.53 95%CI) were significantly associated with ACS. Improvement in social support and adaptive coping strategies should be considered in patients with chronic ischemic heart disease (IHD) to reduce the risk of ACS.Journal of Cardiology 03/2012; 59(2):154-9. DOI:10.1016/j.jjcc.2011.12.001 · 2.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Using a personal social network framework, this qualitative study sought to understand how women in substance abuse treatment describe their network members' supportive and unsupportive behaviors related to recovery. Eighty-six women were interviewed from residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment programs. Positive and negative aspects of women's social networks were assessed via open-ended questions. Analysis was guided by grounded theory techniques using three coders. The findings extend classic social support concepts such as emotional, tangible, and informational support. Practice implications are presented in light of the potential roles network members may play in substance use and recovery.Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 07/2010; 10(3):257-282. DOI:10.1080/1533256X.2010.500970