perceived support, enacted support, social support, affect




Social support theory typically explains perceived support’s link to mental health as reflecting the role of specific supportive actions (i.e., enacted support). Yet enacted support typically is not linked to mental health and perceived support as predicted by theory. The links are examined among enacted support, affect, and perceived support when links reflected (a) aspects of support and affect that generalized across relationship partners and time (i.e., trait influences) and (b) aspects that reflected specific relationship partners (i.e., social influences). Multivariate generalizability analyses indicated that enacted support was linked to low negative affect as predicted by theory only when correlations reflected social influences. When correlations reflected trait influences, enacted support was linked to high negative affect. Furthermore, perceived and enacted support were strongly linked when correlations reflected social influences but not trait influences. Thus, findings for enacted support fit social support theory better when social influences were isolated from trait influences.


Original Citation: Lakey, Brian, Edward Orehek, Kate L. Hain, and Meredith VanVleet. "Enacted Support’s Links to Negative Affect and Perceived Support are More Consistent with Theory when Social Influences are Isolated from Trait Influences." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 36, no. 1 (2010): 132-142.

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