ERIC Number: ED227416
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Gap between Rhetoric and Knowledge in Social Support.
Heller, Kenneth; And Others
Community psychology, as a field based primarily on rhetoric and ideology, is in a particularly vulnerable position as changes occur in the social and political climate. A more realistic recognition of the complexities of the change process points to the unique contribution of community psychology as a field of inquiry. A major problem of community psychology has been the conceptual confusion permeating the field, stemming from its use of concepts borrowed from other fields without further specifications. The social support construct is an example of the need for conceptual clarity. Social support research became popular because it fit the increasingly conservative climate of the times. One problem limiting advances in social support research, however, was its reliance on predictive validity, which was maximized at the expense of construct validity. Research was directed toward demonstrating the relationship of social support to health outcomes, and the relationship between support and non-health outcomes received little attention. To have any kind of useful impact, the basic ingredients in social support must be studied, i.e., how it operates, under what conditions people use it, and how it relates to other modes of coping. For research in social support to provide useful intervention strategies it most provide a clearer understanding of its mode of operation. (JAC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).