Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 295–311 | Cite as

Social support and functioning among community and clinical groups: A panel model

  • Andrew G. Billings
  • Rudolf H. Moos


This study examined the relationship between social support and personal functioning in a longitudinal assessment of a representative sample of community men and women. Although there was considerable temporal stability in several indices of support and personal functioning, changes in levels of support during the follow-up period were associated with changes in functioning. These relationships varied according to the individual's gender and the source of support. Family support was more strongly related to functioning among women, while work support was more strongly related to functioning among men. In comparable analyses on patients recovering from alcoholism, levels of support and functioning were more variable over time, and changes in family support were somewhat more strongly related to changes in functioning. The findings are discussed in light of a perspective that considers the role of environmental stressors and resources in adaptation.

Key words

social support personal functioning 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew G. Billings
    • 1
  • Rudolf H. Moos
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Ecology Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University and Veterans Administration Medical CenterPalo Alto

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