The Socialization of Emotional Support Skills in Childhood

  • Brant R. Burleson
  • Adrianne W. Kunkel
Chapter
Part of the The Springer Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)

Abstract

Of all the varied forms of social support people seek and provide—appraisal, esteem, informational, instrumental, network, tangible (see Cutrona, Suhr, & MacFarlane, 1990; House, 1981)—none is more ubiquitous than emotional support Everybody needs emotional support, and most of us are providers of it at one time or another. Emotional support is sought on diverse occasions from a variety of potential providers, including friends, family members, coworkers, and professionals such as counselors and clergy. Most people report that the emotional support they receive from these sources helps them feel better about things, relieves hurts and stresses, and improves their quality of life. Not surprisingly, people view the emotional support skills of others as quite important. Studies (Burleson & Samter, 1990; Samter, Burleson, Kunkel, & Werking, July 1994) indicate that people value highly the emotional support skills of friends, lovers, and family members, and may even choose relationship partners on the basis of their competence at providing emotional support (Samter & Burleson, June 1990a).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brant R. Burleson
    • 1
  • Adrianne W. Kunkel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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