Social Support : How Gender and the Type of Social Support Impact Workplace Interactions
Copyright 2008 by Jacome, Maria. Intellectual Property Rights owned by Jacome, Maria. This material is copyrighted, and any further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without the permission of the copyright owner.
Social support; Workplace relationships; Emotional support; Work -- Psychological aspects; Job stress; Stress -- Management;
Workplace social support is the amount and quality of relationships available to an employee. It is linked to stress reduction by directly reducing employees' strain (health or wellbeing) or by moderating between stressful working conditions and strain. Research on workplace social support has almost exclusively used nonexperimental field methods and survey data. It is not clear, however, how objective supportive behaviors might be perceived. We compared the two most commonly studied types of workplace support, emotional and instrumental, in a true experiment. We hypothesized that objectively manipulated emotional support would be perceived as emotional and objective instrumental support would be perceived as instrumental. Second, we hypothesized that emotional support would be seen as more caring than instrumental support. Third, we hypothesized that support from women would be seen as more effective (caring and beneficial) than support from menâ€”but that there would also be a sex-appropriateness effect in which emotional support from women and instrumental support from men would be perceived as more caring and beneficial. McNair Scholar project. Faculty advisor: Terry Beehr.