Social support: Assessing conceptual coherence

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Abstract

The concept of social support has been used extensively in both the theoretical and research literature, yet it has not been clearly delineated or operationalized. As a result, numerous other concepts have been subsumed under the heading of social support. In this article, the concept of social support will be analyzed for the purpose of concept clarification using the qualitative research approach of critical analysis of the literature. The present conceptualizations and operationalizations of social support are examined, and the incongruities or fit between the concept and its application are presented. Then, the structural features of social support are identified, and a revised definition of the concept is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-318
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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