The experience and effects of emotional support: What the study of cultural and gender differences can tell us about close relationships, emotion, and interpersonal communication

The experience and effects of emotional support: What the study of cultural and gender... Theorists claim that emotional support is one of the most significant provisions of close relationships, and studies suggest that the receipt of sensitive emotional support is associated with diverse indices of well–being. Research highlighting the beneficial outcomes of emotional support raises several important questions: Does emotional support play a similar role in the personal relationships of both men and women and those representing different ethnicities and nationalities? Is what counts as effective, sensitive, emotional support the same for everyone? And when seeking to provide emotional support, do members of distinct social groups pursue similar or different goals? This article reviews and synthesizes empirical research assessing gender, ethnic, and cultural differences in emotional support in the effort to ascertain the extent and import of these differences. Particular attention is given to demographic differences in (a) the value placed on the emotional support skills of relationship partners, (b) the intentions or goals viewed as especially relevant in emotional support situations, and (c) the evaluation of distinct approaches to providing emotional support. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the findings are explored. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Personal Relationships Wiley

The experience and effects of emotional support: What the study of cultural and gender differences can tell us about close relationships, emotion, and interpersonal communication

Personal Relationships, Volume 10 (1) – Mar 1, 2003

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
2003 IARR
ISSN
1350-4126
eISSN
1475-6811
DOI
10.1111/1475-6811.00033
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Theorists claim that emotional support is one of the most significant provisions of close relationships, and studies suggest that the receipt of sensitive emotional support is associated with diverse indices of well–being. Research highlighting the beneficial outcomes of emotional support raises several important questions: Does emotional support play a similar role in the personal relationships of both men and women and those representing different ethnicities and nationalities? Is what counts as effective, sensitive, emotional support the same for everyone? And when seeking to provide emotional support, do members of distinct social groups pursue similar or different goals? This article reviews and synthesizes empirical research assessing gender, ethnic, and cultural differences in emotional support in the effort to ascertain the extent and import of these differences. Particular attention is given to demographic differences in (a) the value placed on the emotional support skills of relationship partners, (b) the intentions or goals viewed as especially relevant in emotional support situations, and (c) the evaluation of distinct approaches to providing emotional support. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the findings are explored.

Journal

Personal RelationshipsWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2003

References

  • Cross‐cultural variations in relationship rules
    Argyle, Argyle; Henderson, Henderson; Bond, Bond; Iizuka, Iizuka; Contarello, Contarello
  • The cultural context of social support and support networks
    Jacobson, Jacobson
  • The effects of nonverbal immediacy and verbal person centeredness in the emotional support process
    Jones, Jones; Guerrero, Guerrero
  • The role of intimacy in interpersonal relations
    Reis, Reis

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