The Relationship between Social Support and Life Satisfaction as a Function of Family Structure

Choi K. Wan, James Jaccard, Sharon L. Ramey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The present study focuses on the discriminant validity of 4 types of social support and the utility of distinguishing support provision from different referents. Hypotheses about the influence of family structure on the relationship between social support and life satisfaction were formally evaluated. The respondents were 512 parents, including 176 married mothers, 172 married fathers, and 164 single mothers. Results corroborate the importance of distinguishing who provides the social support. A cluster analysis revealed distinct referent clusters in which the correlational structure suggested a degree of discriminant validity between referents. An analysis of mean levels of support indicated that individuals tended to receive more support from some referents than from others. In addition, the correlations of social support with life satisfaction differed depending on the referent providing the support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-513
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1996

Keywords

  • Family management
  • Life satisfaction
  • Parenting
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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