• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Expressions of support between partners may be more commonplace than heroic, but their cumulative effects on the growth of trust, enduring love, and commitment can be considerable--even lifesaving in the face of otherwise overwhelming tragedy. Skillfully weaving together the latest research with engaging case examples and practical applications, author Carolyn E. Cutrona offers an in-depth analysis of how committed partners can serve as resources for each other in stressful scenarios. Beginning with a fresh overview of definitions and concepts, Social Support in Couples articulates the vital components of intimate support systems. This informative volume explores the phenomenon of marital communication through real-life interactions, focusing on gender-related differences, the interplay between supportive and destructive interactions, and stress experienced during chronic/disabling illness. In a concluding chapter, a research agenda for future study opens the topic up to additional serious consideration. A reader-friendly examination of the power of supportive acts, Social Support in Couples is recommended for a wide readership, including academics, practitioners, and students in family studies, social psychology, social work, and marriage and family counseling.

Giving and Taking Support: A Complicated Process
Giving and taking support: A complicated process

Jeanette and Mark have been married for 6 years. The first year of their marriage was especially trying because Jeanette, then 29 years old, was diagnosed with a serious illness the month after they returned from their honeymoon. Jeanette tells her memories of that first year:

“I went into the clinic because I thought 1 was pregnant—my symptoms were really minor, just some changes in my periods. When the doctor told me I had a tumor, I panicked. My mother had just died of cancer 2 years before. I cried and cried. I couldn't wait to see Mark and have him hold me. I guess I believed he could protect me in some ...

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