Understanding Social Support

  • Bick-har LAM


The chapter gives readers a comprehensive understanding of the research on social support in the field of health psychology. It acts as the foundation of this book to provide readers with a fundamental knowledge of social support; and the ideas in this chapter are linked to the other chapters of the book. The first two parts of the content cover the discussion of the meaning of social support and the research approaches of this topic in the literature. The third part discusses the implications of social support for education. It seeks to accomplish the following purposes:
  1. (1)

    To describe the key perspectives of conceptualising social support research, and relevant concepts which explain each of the study approaches with reference to theoretical and empirical literature;

  2. (2)

    To discuss some pertinent issues that relate to research in social support and suggest instruments to be used for the topics of study;

  3. (3)

    To draw implications for education and discuss potential topics for further study in subsequent chapters of the book.

The preliminary ideas suggested in the chapter will be the guide to the direction of this book, which will be followed-up and investigated in subsequent chapters of the book, to draw connections between social support and the practice of education. The chapter suggests the potential of connecting social support to education in order to generate theory and practice that benefits students as support receivers. The chapter also hints at the potential area of studying the benefits of social support for support givers. The potential topics related to learners and teachers as recipients and providers of social support in the context of education will be further explored in subsequent chapters of the book.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Education University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong

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