Introduction Method Evaluation of ability to provide social support yielded scores with good internal consistency reliability. There was moderate agreement.
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Introduction Method Evaluation of ability to provide social support yielded scores with good internal consistency reliability. There was moderate agreement between self and significant other ratings. Women scored slightly higher than men on self rated (but not other rated) social support provision. Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Extraversion, and Openness all predicted higher self ratings of SS provision; only Conscientiousness was significantly predictive of other rated SS. Neuroticism was not significantly predictive of either self or other ratings of SS provision. Limitation of the study include low response rate from significant others (less than 50%). All data were self report (not assessments of actual behavior). Results suggest that it could be useful to develop measures of the ability to provide social support as an individual difference. A more comprehensive measure of ability to provide social support could be useful in identifying people who are well suited for professions that require providing social support and could also used to evaluate social support provision in close relationships. Results Discussion 1)Burhmester, D., Furman, W. Wittenberg, M. T., & Reis, H. T. (1988). Five domains of interpersonal competence in peer relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 991-1008 2)Cohen, S., Underwood, L. G., & Gottlieb, B. H. (2000). Social support measurement and intervention: A guide for health and social scientists. NY: Oxford University Press. 3)Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann, W. S. (2003). A very brief measure of the Big-Five personality domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 504-528. 4)Pierce, G. R., Sarason, I. G., & Sarason, B. G. (1991). General and relationship-based perceptions of social support: Are two constructs better than one? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 1028-1039. References Contact Information: Rebecca Warner, firstname.lastname@example.org Department of Psychology, University of New Hampshire, Durham NH 03824 Acknowledgements: Research supported by a Grant from the UNH Presidential Excellence Research Award program. Goals of the study: A total of 401 college students evaluated their ability to provide social support by responding to modified versions of the SS scales developed by Buhrmester, Furman, Wittenberg, & Reis, and by Pierce, Sarason & Sarason and new questions about ability to provide social and emotional support developed for this study. Students provided demographic information and completed the Very Brief Big Five personality inventory (3). Additional questions included in the survey are not reported here. Each student was asked to identify and provide contact information for the “Significant Other” person they had in mind when answering questions about their own provision of support. These significant others received surveys with similar questions about the student’s ability to provide social support. Social Support (SS) is usually thought of as a resource, and assessed by asking people how much support they receive or perceive as available (2). For example, the Pierce et al. (4). Relationship Quality Inventory (RQI) social support scale asks respondents in a close relationship: “To what extent could you count on this person for help with a problem?” An alternative approach focuses on people’s self assessments of their ability to provide support; a typical Burhmester, et al. (1), Interpersonal Competence Scale (ICS) Emotional Support (ES) item asks how good the person is at “Being able to say and do things to support a close companion when s/he is feeling down.” The present study assesses perceived ability to provide social support as an individual difference variable using modified versions of the questions from the RQI and ICS and new social support questions. 1.Assess reliability of the modified and new social support scales. 2.Assess agreement between self reported and partner evaluations of ability to provide social support. 3.Evaluate possible predictors of ability to provide social support including gender and the Big Five personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) (3). Responses were obtained from 194 significant others (overall response rate: 49%) 53% of the respondents were parents (usually mothers) and 47% were peers (friends, roommates, or dating partners). Reliabilities for all six Social Support scales were satisfactory (Cronbach >.80). Correlations among the three self report SS provision scales ranged from.30 to.51; correlations among significant other ratings of social support ranged from.43 to.81. Seven of the 9 correlations between SS ratings made by the student and significant other were statistically significant and all correlations were positive. The three self ratings and the three other person ratings of SS provision were combined into overall SELF_SS (self rated ability to provide social support) and SO_SS (significant other rating of ability to provide social support). Multiple regressions were performed to assess how well overall self rated and significant other rated social support provision could be predicted from Big Five traits and gender. Assessment of Individual Differences in Provision of Social Support For the overall regression, R =.30, adjusted R 2 =.06, F(6, 179) = 2.93, p =.009 Predictors:bpsr 2 Gender.08ns Openness-.01ns Conscientious.19.018.03 Extraversion-.08ns Agreeableness.13ns Neuroticism-.08ns Charles Demuth, The Circus, 1917, watercolor, 8” x 10 5/8”, The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus OH, The Ferdinand Howald Collection University of New Hampshire, Durham NH Dr. Rebecca Warner Department of Psychology Dr. Kerryellen Vroman Department of Occupational Therapy Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology February 9, 2008, Albuquerque NM Multiple Regression to Predict Overall Self Rated Social Support Provision Score (SELF_SS) from Gender and Big Five Personality Traits Multiple Regression to Predict Overall Significant Other Rated Social Support Provision Score (SO_SS) from Gender and Big Five Personality Traits For the overall regression, R =.62, R 2 =.38, F(6, 377) = 38.52, p <.001 Gender was coded 1 = male, 2 = female, therefore a positive b coefficient for gender indicates that predicted social support provision scores were higher for females. The sr 2 (squared semipartial r) for each variable is the proportion of variance in the dependent variable it uniquely predicts (statistically controlling for all other predictor variables). * Predictors Gender Openness Conscientious Extraversion Agreeableness Neuroticism b.18*.18.104.22.168.01 p <.001.001 <.001 ns sr 2.03.02.06.04.06.00