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A study of the social support construct with a group of cancer patients

Since the mid-1970s, there have been an increasingly diverse range of research methods, instruments, and processes of studying social support (Cohen, Underwood, & Gottlieb, 2000) and many definitions of the construct (Hupcey, 1998). Along with the increased interest in the social factors that influence psychological and physical health (Cohen & Syme, 1985), the diverse ways of examining social support have lead to a large literature base ranging from work in the medical and epidemiological fields (Cohen & Syme, 1985; Hupcey, 1998) to social, clinical, and personality psychology (Cohen, Underwood, & Gottlieb, 2000).While there appears to be a great deal of interest in social support, some have argued that there is a basic problem with its definition (Cohen, Underwood, & Gottlieb, 2000; Hupcey, 1998; Shumaker & Brownell, 1984). In the present study, Laireiter and Baumann's (1992) taxonomy of social support was used to review 22 definitions. This taxonomy includes: a) social integration, b) social network, c) supportive climate, d) received support, and e) perceived support. Although most reviewed definitions lack an empirical basis, social support appears to be a valuable concept that deserves further attention (Hupcey, 1998; Laireiter & Baumann, 1992; Vaux, 1988).The present study uses data from a previous study of cancer patients' social support, personality characteristics, and adjustment to their illnesses (Barton, 2001). The five social support measures used in Barton, 2001 were: the Social Network Index, the Family Relationship Index, the Modes of Social Support scale, the Negative Interactions scale, and the Satisfaction with and Received Support scales, appeared to address each of the components of the Laireiter and Baumann's (1992) taxonomy. / Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
Date January 2003
CreatorsHopper, Mark A.
ContributorsNicholas, Donald R.
Source SetsBall State University
Detected LanguageEnglish
Formativ, 254 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
SourceVirtual Press

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