Supportive and problematic social interactions: a social network analysis

Am J Community Psychol. 1989 Dec;17(6):831-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00922741.


Assessed the number of sources of supportive and problematic social interactions in the total social network as well as the number who were the sources of consistently supportive or problematic interactions in a sample of 2nd year medical students. Number of problematic interaction sources was hypothesized to be more predictive of psychological and physical well-being than number of supportive interaction sources. Results showed that total supportive and total problematic interaction sources were equally predictive of life satisfaction. The presence of at least one individual who is a consistent source of problematic interactions was most predictive of lower life satisfaction. Results indicate the importance of studying both supportive and problematic social interactions. They also suggest that interactions with individuals that are consistently problematic may negatively impact upon well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Personality Tests
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*