ERIC Number: ED210599
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
On Buffers and Boosters: Social Support for Negative and Positive Life Events.
Sandler, Irwin N.
Social support has been studied in the context of its relationship to and effect on negative experiences. While this buffer aspect of social support is important, support may also play a satisfaction-enhancing role. Both the negative event-buffering and positive event-boosting effect of social support on students' satisfaction with their college experience were investigated. A questionnaire on life stress and social support was completed by 312 community college students. Subjects reported which of 100 events had occurred recently; whether the event was a positive, negative, or neutral experience; and who they had talked to or received assistance from about the event, i.e., family, friends, teachers. Data from Anglos, Mexican-Americans, and mature women students were analyzed. Results provided evidence for boosting and buffering effects of social contact on satisfaction with college. Different types of people served different types of supportive functions. Teacher support appeared to enhance the effects of positive school events on satisfaction with college. Family support did not appear to enhance the effects of positive events but reduced the negative effects of negative events. The supportive effects of friends were obtained only for the Mexican-American group and only as a buffer against negative events. The findings suggest that enhancing the positive as well as reducing the negative aspects of life experiences is an important aspect of life adjustment. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Life Events; Social Support
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981).