Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Mary E. Procidano
This entry describes the causal models proposed to study the hypothesized beneficial effects of social support, alternative definitions of support, and the importance of differentiating between support and social hindrance in predicting positive versus negative health and adjustment outcomes. It synthesizes a large body of research to date and considers contextual issues in which supportive transactions occur, emphasizing the importance of culture and the use of conventional psychological paradigms to explain origins of support. Three basic models, which are tested in virtually all investigations of the effects social support, have been articulated: the main effect , in which social support contributes directly to positive physical and emotional health or to diminished illness or distress, without consideration of stressful events; the moderating effect , in which support moderates, or “buffers,” the impact of stressful events on negative health outcomes; and the mediating effect , in which some chronic strain diminishes available ...