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J Youth Adolesc. 1985 Feb;14(1):23-35. doi: 10.1007/BF02088644.

Differentiating specialists and generalists within college students' social support networks.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, 48824, East Lansing, Michigan.


In order to examine the relationships among social network structure, types of social support, and determinants of support satisfaction, an alternative method was used to score the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ). Factor analysis procedures suggested that college students' (N=198) social networks consisted of four groups: nuclear family, other family, friends, and others. Satisfaction with support was positively related to the proportion of the network occupied by nuclear family and negatively related to the proportion of friends in the network. Evidence was found for the presence of both support specialists and support generalists in the networks of the college students. These results are discussed from a developmental perspective with attention to the implications for interventions.

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