Emotional Support and Physiological Stress Recovery: The Role of Support Matching, Adequacy, and Invisibility

Jennifer S. Priem, Denise Haunani Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


This study evaluated the effect of support matching, perceived support adequacy, and support invisibility on physiological stress recovery. Participants (N = 103) received supportive messages from a dating partner after completing a series of stressful tasks and receiving negative performance feedback. Participants reported their general preferences for emotional support before the interaction, and afterward they evaluated support adequacy and their partner's supportiveness during the interaction. Observers rated the emotional support provided, and salivary cortisol indexed changes in stress. As predicted, the positive association between a partner's provision of emotional support and rate of stress recovery was greater for people who reported a greater preference for emotional support, in general, and people who evaluated their partner's support during the interaction as more, compared to less, adequate. Contrary to expectations, support invisibility did not attenuate emotional support benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-112
Number of pages25
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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