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People may rely on others to provide support, such as advice, empathy, or comfort, during stressful times, such as having a bad day at work or a fight with a friend, or going through a breakup with a romantic partner. At the most general level, social support can be defined as the actual helpful behaviors (e.g., empathy) of another when discussing a stressful situation that a close friend, partner, or family member is going through, as well as the perception of the availability of social support in one’s environment. This entry includes a definition of social support, a brief discussion of measurement-related issues, and a discussion of the associations between social support and well-being.

Types of Social Support

Social support can be provided in a number ...

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