When faced with a taboo stressor, people might have desires for support yet feel reticent to seek assistance from others. This study contextualizes desires for support by theorizing that they are directly associated with the support people seek and indirectly associated with what they receive. There may be discrepancies among any of these perspectives, and we expand research on support gaps by considering the existence and outcomes of deficits or surpluses in the support people desire, seek, and receive. A community sample (N = 205) completed a survey regarding a taboo marital stressor. Respondents desired more support than they sought or received (i.e., support deficit) but received more support than they sought (i.e., support surplus). These discrepancies and their outcomes varied by type and source of support. Whereas deficits in support mostly decreased reappraisal of a taboo stressor, support surpluses mainly enhanced reappraisal. Implications for research on supportive communication are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language