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Specifying the Buffering Hypothesis: Support, Strain, and Depression
Pamela Braboy Jackson
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 55, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 363-378
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786953
Page Count: 16
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Spouses, Psychological stress, Friendship, Social psychology, Depressive disorders, Physical health, Mental health, Life events, Psychology, Men
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The concept of "matching" is central to theories of social support, as researchers attempt to specify the links between the type of support, the source of support, and the type of stressor, and to identify their function in the support process. This study examines these links more closely by differentiating between spouse and friend support, and by considering different types of life problems (e.g., role and ambient strains). I hypothesized a continuum of support efficacy whereby spouses and friends can ameliorate the depressing effects of nonfamilial strains (e.g., work straints). Spouses were further hypothesized to buffer the relationship between ambient strains (bur not familial role strains) and depression, Friends were expected to serve as effective buffers to familial role strains, but not to ambient strains. Results show that perceived spouse support both alters initial perceptions of strains and ameliorates the depressive effects of all forms of life strains, while friend support has a more limited direct and indirect role. Researchers interested in the interactive role of support ties must be attuned to the distinction between intimates when examining the negative effects of role strains, but not necessarily of ambient strains.
Social Psychology Quarterly © 1992 American Sociological Association