Why is enacted social support associated with increased distress? Using simulation to test two possible sources of spuriousness

Gwendolyn Seidman, Patrick Shrout, Niall Bolger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although perceiving that social support is available is often associated with psychological benefits in times of stress, there is evidence that actually receiving support is associated with increased distress. To assess whether this latter association could be spurious, the authors conducted computer simulation studies to examine two theoretical models that could give rise to it. Study 1 examined a process whereby distress leads to provision of support rather than the reverse. Study 2 examined a process whereby an adverse event increases both support and distress. In both cases, substantial spurious associations were produced only when parameter values were markedly unrealistic. It was concluded that these possible sources of spuriousness are insufficient to explain the association between support and distress found in naturalistic studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-65
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

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Social Support
Computer Simulation
Theoretical Models
Psychology

Keywords

  • Simulation
  • Social support
  • Statistical analysis
  • Stress and coping
  • Theory testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Why is enacted social support associated with increased distress? Using simulation to test two possible sources of spuriousness. / Seidman, Gwendolyn; Shrout, Patrick; Bolger, Niall.

In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 32, No. 1, 01.2006, p. 52-65.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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