Original Paper

American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 133-144

First online:

The relationship between self-reported received and perceived social support: A meta-analytic review

  • Mason G. HaberAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Wayne State UniversityLouis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida Email author 
  • , Jay L. CohenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Wayne State University
  • , Todd LucasAffiliated withCenter for Behavioral and Decision Sciences in Medicine, VA Ann Arbor Health Care System & University of Michigan
  • , Boris B. BaltesAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Wayne State University

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Social support is broad term encompassing a variety of constructs, including support perceptions (perceived support) and receipt of supportive behaviors (received support). Of these constructs, only perceived support has been regarded as consistently linked to health, and researchers have offered differing assessments of the strength of the received-perceived support relationship. An overall estimate of the received-perceived support relationship would clearly further the dialogue on the relationship between received and perceived support and thus assist in the theoretical development of the field. This study evaluated all available studies using the Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors (ISSB; Barrera, Sandler, & Ramsey, 1981, American Journal of Community Psychology, 9, 435–447) and any measure of perceived social support. Using effect sizes from 23 studies, we found an average correlation of r = .35, p < .001. Implications of this estimate for further development of models of social support as well as interventions to enhance social support are discussed.


Social support Perceived support Received support ISSB