MODELING THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL SUPPORT VISIBILITY ON PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING: EXAMINING THE ROLE OF SELF-CONSTRUAL
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There are known benefits of receiving social support; however, support has also been shown to produce negative effects. Invisible support has been introduced (e.g., Bolger, Zuckerman, & Kessler, 2000) to resolve these conflicting findings. Invisible support is argued to be a buffer against negative effects of visible social support; however, recent research on the visibility of support and its positive and maladaptive effects is conflicting. Two studies were conducted to test the idea that type of social support (visible v. invisible) is related to well-being and that this relationship is moderated by self-construal. Study 1 (N = 1405), a correlational study, found that the correlation between interdependent self-construal and preference for invisible support was stronger than the correlation between independent self-construal and preference for invisible support. Further, the correlation between interdependent self-construal and instrumental social support seeking was stronger than the correlation between independent self-construal and instrumental social support seeking. Study 2 (N = 376) was an experimental study in which participants rated their emotions after recalling situations in which they either experienced visible or invisible social support. Results showed that individuals who had a low independent self-construal were less likely to benefit from visible support and were more likely to experience depressed mood after receiving visible support than those high in independent self-construal. Further, males who were low in independent self-construal and females who were high in independent self-construal were both more likely to experience negative outcomes after having received visible support and less likely to benefit from visible support receipt than males who were high in independent self-construal and females who were low in independent self-construal.