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Is it better to perceive than receive? Social support, stress and strain for managers

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This study had two major goals: (1) to test in a sample of managers the relationship between strain and perceived and received social support; and (2) to assess the influence of manager sex on the effectiveness of perceived and received social support. Data was gathered from 108 female and 342 male managers. Perceived support was associated with reduced strain for both women and men. However, the effectiveness of received support was related to the gender congruence of the type of support received. Receiving emotional support was associated with increased strain for men, and those who received the support for an important stressor reported most strain. However, receiving emotional support was not associated with strain for women, and receiving information and tangible assistance was not associated with strain for managers of either sex. Additionally, an unexpected finding was that, for men, received emotional support and received tangible assistance buffered the effects of perceived support.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Management, Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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