ERIC Number: ED237864
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Gender Differences in Social Support.
Wilson, Diane Grimard; Stokes, Joseph P.
Although the differences in supportive resources for males and females have rarely been studied, it seems reasonable that these differences exist because socialization for males and females typically emphasizes different traits. To explore gender differences in the nature of social support, 97 male and 82 female undergraduates completed the Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors (ISSB) and a social network list. Results showed gender differences in network structure and in the nature of and the ability to predict received social support. Females showed a higher percentage of relatives in their social networks and reported receiving more emotional support than did males. Social network variables predicted ISSB scores for males but not for females; the network variable that predicted social support most strongly was the number of people a male felt close to and confided in or turned to for help in an emergency. The unexpected finding of gender differences in the ability to predict ISSB scores from network structure may reflect societal values regarding sex role socialization. The socialization of males emphasizes independence and deemphasizes expression of feelings. Men, therefore, must have a rather close relationship with another person before they talk about feelings or receive certain types of support, while the types of behaviors measured by the ISSB are available to females regardless of the nature of their social networks. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).