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Social Support Systems for the Family

  • By: Martha K. Swartz
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Social support for the family is a supportive, interactional intervention that targets family roles and functioning. These supportive activities are aimed at sustaining and improving both family system and individual member functioning through the promotion of family values, interests, and goal, It is a dynamic, ongoing process that changes as challenging circumstances occur.

Specifically, social support is an interpersonal process designed to promote advocacy that consists of a reciprocal exchange of information within a specific context. Providers of social support serve as advocates by motivating and empowering recipients to act on their own behalf and maintain as much control as possible. The primary types of support are emotional and instrumental within a larger context of unconditional positive regard and caring. Emotional support involves physical presence, ...

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