Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
Receiving effective social support is beneficial (Cohen & Wills, 1985); unfortunately people do not always seek support when they need it (Collins & Feeney, 2000). I hypothesized that perceptions of a partner’s self-esteem affect social support processes, such that people will be less willing to solicit support from low self-esteem partners for stressful events because they assume that low self-esteem partners will be unable to provide effective support. Results from four studies (Study 1A: N=116; Study 1B: N=201; Study 2: N=194; Study 3: N=196) demonstrated that perceptions of a romantic partner’s self-esteem were positively associated with people’s willingness to share problems with their partner and solicit support from them. In all studies, this was mediated by perceptions of a partner’s efficacy. This suggests that people see low self-esteem partners as less capable and are thus reluctant to seek support in times of need.
Hirniak, Alexandra, "How Perceptions of a Relationship Partner’s Self-Esteem Influence Support Seeking" (2016). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 1865.