Social Support and Physiology

Current Trends and Future Directions

Authored by: Alice E. Veksler , Justin P. Boren , Jennifer Priem

The Handbook of Communication Science and Biology

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815376712
eBook ISBN: 9781351235587
Adobe ISBN:


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Social support and its connection to physiology and health are a well-studied construct in a variety of contexts. This chapter provides some basic conceptual and operational definitions for social support and reviews the extant literature on the connection between social support and physiology. In the second half of the chapter, potential directions that researchers in communication might consider when studying social support and physiology are suggested. These areas include using multiple simultaneous biopsychosocial markers, looking at support from a dyadic perspective, studying the effects of support appraisal, examining various demographics, and using longitudinal data.

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