American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 123–147 | Cite as

Culture, control, and coping: New perspectives on social support

  • Belle Liang
  • G. Anne Bogat


Researchers have offered various explanations for inconsistent findings in the social support literature. Some contend that the detection of either buffering or direct effects depends on the mode of measurement. Others have demonstrated that person variables (e.g., locus of control) moderate support utilization during stressful times. This study attempts to integrate the issues of measure type, locus of control orientation, and cultural influence in a comprehensive study comparing Anglo-Americans and Chinese nationals. Measures appropriate for testing the stress-buffering model of social support were given to 198 students in a Midwestern university and 200 students in mainland China. Both measure type and locus of control orientation mediated the process of support utilization in each culture, but not in the same manner across cultures. For Anglos, stress-buffering effects of both perceived and received support were found only with internals. For Chinese, main effects and a buffering pattern from perceived support were found only with externals. The received support measure yielded negative buffering effects with the latter culture.

Key words

stress stress buffering coping culture social support 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belle Liang
    • 1
  • G. Anne Bogat
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast Lansing

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