This entry describes the concept of social support, beginning with a general definition. A description of social support is then presented following three authorities in the field: Gerard Caplan, John Casel, and Sidney Cobb. Their definitions share the notion that social support plays a protective role in individuals’ lives. Finally, an application of the concept of social support in current society is provided, taking into account the characteristics of today’s globalized and Internet-connected world.

Perspectives on Social Support

Social support is a source of assistance to help individuals cope with crises and adapt to change during the life cycle. Human beings need emotional and material support beginning at birth and continuing during the diverse crises and changes they face during adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Gerard Caplan ...

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