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Social Support and Physical HealthUnderstanding the Health Consequences of Relationships$
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Bert N. Uchino

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300102185

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300102185.001.0001

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The Meaning and Measurement of Social Support

The Meaning and Measurement of Social Support

(p.9) 2 The Meaning and Measurement of Social Support
Social Support and Physical Health

Bert N. Uchino

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the meaning and measurement of social support. Social support is usually defined to include both the structures of an individual's social life and the more explicit functions they may serve. The chapter begins by discussing the importance of social integration or structural aspects of social support. It describes the social network index (SNI) as one example of a social integration measure that examines a variety of social ties. This is followed by a discussion and evaluation of social integration measures, which includes the positive and negative effects of social integration and the different ways of characterizing social ties or roles. Finally, the chapter discusses social support functions and functional support measures.

Keywords:   social support, social integration, social network index, SNI, social ties, functional support measures

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