Methoden zur Untersuchung sozialer Unterstützung und persönlicher Netzwerke

  • D. Klusmann

Zusammenfassung

Die Zahl der Untersuchungen zu den Themen soziale Unterstützung und soziales Netzwerk hat in den letzten Jahrzehnten stark zugenommen Es ist noch schwierig einzuschätzen, welchen Erkenntniszuwachs die boomartig eingesetzte Konjunktur dieser Konzepte bringen wird. Eine Mischung aus Optimismus und Skepsis ist der Grundton vieler Übersichtsarbeiten (Wellman 1982b; Udris 1982; Keupp u. Rerrich 1982). Soziale Unterstützung wird meist als Schutzfaktor betrachtet, der in den unterschiedlichsten Lebensbereichen die Auswirkungen streßhafter Belastungen abmildert, u.a. auch durch eine Stärkung des Immunsystems (Cassell 1976). Untersucht wurde das menschliche Leben in dieser Hinsicht, wie Udris (1982) es in einer Übersicht ausgedrückt hat, von der Wiege bis zur Bahre. Tatsächlich haben erwünschte Kinder ein höheres Geburtsgewicht als unerwünschte (erwähnt in Cobb 1979, S. 95); dagegen stellt sich der Tod früher ein, wenn die soziale Umgebung verarmt ist (Berkman u. Syme 1979). Was soziale Unterstützung intuitiv ist, kann man sich am besten am Beispiel des Kindes klarmachen, dessen Qualen auf dem Zahnarztstuhl dadurch vermindert werden, daß die Mutter dabei ist.

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