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Cien Saude Colet. 2012 May;17(5):1103-14.

[Social support and health: standpoints from the social and human sciences].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Medicina Preventiva e Social, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP, Brazil.


This article analyses the themes and conceptual-theoretical approaches of the social support in the literature from important international journals about social sciences and medicine, and in from 1983 to 2005 are analyzed. 259 international and 57 national abstracts was reading for the identification and computing the relations of the social support with health/disease/care. A deeper conceptual analysis about social support and the theories of social science were reported in an intentional sample of 56 international and 18 national texts. The international literature is based on the social psychology, in the several trends of the sociology and of the political science and less in the anthropology. The national literature dialogues less with the psychosocial theories and more with the sociological and anthropological theories. In this latter literature the social support approaches are concerned with social network theories; reciprocity, exchanges and cultural values. It is concluded that different trends guide the conceptual-theoretical analyses of the social support, being the international literature older, wider, more diversified and empirical, but with scarce anthropological production. The national literature is more reflexive them empirical.

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