Social Support in Marriage

A Cognitive Perspective
  • Steven R. H. Beach
  • Frank D. Fincham
  • Jennifer Katz
  • Thomas N. Bradbury
Chapter
Part of the The Springer Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)

Abstract

Social support is a widely used construct in the psychological literature. Although multiple conceptions of the construct have been offered, an issue common to many analyses is the extent to which support is perceived or experienced by recipients of “supportive” behaviors. In this chapter, we offer a cognitive framework designed to illuminate the construct of “perceived support.” Our analysis focuses on perceived support in marriage, as this relationship provides a relatively homogeneous context within which to examine a number of important issues regarding social support, the resolution of which may have implications for the literature on social support in general. This chapter does not attempt, however, to redefine social support, provide a new theory of social support processes in marriage, or argue that support processes in marriage are fundamentally different from support obtained in other enduring, intimate relationships. Mindful of the need for new perspectives in the social support area that integrate the influences of social context with concern for the match of specific Stressors to socially supportive responses and the cognitive component of support (e. g., Pierce, Sarason, & Sarason, 1990; I. G. Sarason, B. R. Sarason, & Pierce, 1994), we provide herein a cognitive framework for examining the impact of supportive (and nonsupportive) transactions on “perceived support.”

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven R. H. Beach
    • 1
  • Frank D. Fincham
    • 2
  • Jennifer Katz
    • 1
  • Thomas N. Bradbury
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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