Social support: its structure and impact on marital disruption

Am J Community Psychol. 1982 Dec;10(6):647-67.


Availability of social support has been hypothesized to play a role in influencing adjustment to marital disruption either directly or by moderating the debilitating effects of stress. Yet previous research has not adequately conceptualized or measured the nature and availability of social support. In an effort to learn more about the structure and impact of social support as it relates to marital disruption, 50 newly separated men and women were interviewed at 2 months and again at 8 months after their separations. The structure of social support was found to include (a) several important sources of support, including family, friends, and the larger community; (b) an index of social activity; and (c) a sense of satisfaction with present marital status. Although the stress associated with separation was positively related to poorer adjustment, certain aspects of social support were found to moderate this relationship.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Divorce
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Marriage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*