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13 - Attachment Theory as a Framework for Studying Relationship Dynamics and Functioning

from Part IV - Individual Differences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 June 2018

Anita L. Vangelisti
Affiliation:
University of Texas, Austin
Daniel Perlman
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
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Summary

Social support is an important topic area within the study of personal relationships; however, the broader social support literature has not historically considered social support in terms of the interpersonal process that it is. This chapter describes the literature linking social support to health and well-being, considers issues of perceived and received support, and summarizes research showing effects of receiving social support in close relationships on important personal and relational outcomes. In particular, we summarize existing observational studies that examine the dyadic social support process as it unfolds in close relationships, research that examines effects of received support on physiological and neural reactivity, and research that considers the interpersonal social support process in both adverse and non-adverse (positive) life contexts. We describe important theoretical perspectives that have provided a foundation for research on social support in close relationships, discuss ways that both support-seekers and support-providers might cultivate effective social support, and discuss the importance of mutual responsiveness in close relationships. Finally, we outline an agenda for the next generation of research on social support in adult close relationships.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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