Mobilization of Social Support in Everyday Stress – Coping, Emotions and Social Competencies as Moderators
M.-C. Schönleitner1, A.-R. Laireiter1
1University of Salzburg, Austria
How people present their need and cope with stress as well as characteristics of the supporter are critical in receiving positive or negative social support. This assumption was tested in a vignette-study manipulating the way a close friend communicates his/her needs (directly vs. hidden) and deals with his/her (work-related) stress (actively vs. passively). The helper’s (reader of the vignette) emotions generated by the help-seeker as well as his/her social skills and his/her willingness to give positive or negative support was measured by questionnaire. 300 subjects, 77% females in early adulthood (M=29.1; SD=10.2 years), participated. Offering positive support was related to active coping, sadness and compassion with the friend’s stress, perceived consternation, social orientation and reflexivity, being glad of the trust received and not feeling scared of own helper-stress. Non-/negative support most often was shown by males who perceived anger because of passive coping, had low social orientation and felt intensively sad. Getting social support in stress is not an easy task; people in need should be trained psycho-educationally to fully use their social resources without risk.