Women frequently turn to other women for support to cope with stressors. The support they receive, however, is often not what they need or even expect from a friend. Based upon differences in racial backgrounds, this study tests whether the racial composition of female friendship dyads influences the experience of support gaps, or discrepancies among the types and amount of support women need, expect, and receive, as well as the outcomes associated with those gaps. Black and White women (N = 312) recalled a supportive conversation with either a Black or White female friend about an identity-threatening stressor. The results show that women needed, expected, and received more of several types of support from friends of their same race and that several support gaps were more pronounced from friends of a different race. The racial composition of a dyad moderated the influence of support gaps on women’s perceptions of supportiveness, reappraisal, and affect improvement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science