Social support and psychological well-being in young adults: the multi-dimensional support scale

J Pers Assess. 1992 Feb;58(1):198-210. doi: 10.1207/s15327752jpa5801_17.


A large sample (N = 483) of community-living adults (M age = 23.6 years) responded to questions about the frequency and adequacy of emotional, practical, and informational support during the past month from three sources-confidants, peers, and supervisors-using the Multi-Dimensional Support Scale. Factor analysis was used to distinguish meaningful regularities in item responses, and the resulting five scales have high internal reliability. Scores correlated significantly with measures of self-esteem, depressive affect, and psychological disturbance according to the General Health Questionnaire. To investigate what contribution support measures could make to the prediction of psychological well-being, hierarchical regression analyses were carried out with stressors entered first and support scores entered second. As expected, respondents' psychological well-being was related to their level of life stress; however, the addition of social support measures doubled the explained variance in measures of psychological well-being. The support measure with the strongest association with well-being was the frequency of supportive behaviors toward the respondent by close family and friends.