The factor structure of received social support: Dimensionality and the prediction of depression and life satisfaction

John F. Finch, Manuel Barrera, Morris A. Okun, William H.M. Bryant, Gregory J. Pool, A. Lynn Snow-Turek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Covariance structure analyses were carried out on the Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors (ISSB; Barrera, Sandler, & Ramsey, 1981) to corroborate a hypothesized four-factor measurement model of received social support. Examination of the influence of the separate dimensions of the ISSB indicated that the four dimensions correlated in opposite directions with depression. Aggregation across the full set of ISSB items yielded a composite ISSB score that failed to predict depression and obscured the dynamics of these differential relations. By contrast, all four dimensions of the ISSB exhibited positive relations with life satisfaction, and total ISSB scores explained as much variance in life satisfaction as did the individual subscales. In general, the four ISSB dimensions proved to be differentially related to depression and life satisfaction in ways that were predictable, informative, and theoretically meaningful. The results of the present investigation illustrate the utility of a multidimensional conceptualization of the construct of enacted social support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-341
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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