Social and Emotional Support and its Implication for Health PMC

The ways in which types of social support differ may best be illustrated using an example. If help from friends and family does not feel like enough or is making things worse, there moral support vs emotional support are other options. It is important for the person asking for support and the person giving it to have realistic expectations about what emotional support can and cannot achieve.

It’s important to note, however, that the wrong type of support can actually have a detrimental effect, so it helps to know what type of social support is needed in each situation. All of these types of social support ‘work,’ but not with everybody, and not in the same ways. Different people have preferences for a certain type or a combination of a few types of social support. When you’re struggling and feel like you’re drowning in stress, different types of support can help you deal. You might reach for the phone to call a friend when you’ve had a bad day at work. Or you might search online to find ideas for how to deal with your problem.

  1. This research is in its infancy but will be crucial in order to better tailor support interventions that can impact on physical health outcomes.
  2. Listening actively, or empathically, is another important part of providing emotional support.
  3. Regulation on TikTok specifically, which enjoyed huge support last year, has also fizzled.
  4. Coupled with carefully controlled and normed materials, these methods might reveal a greater role of unconscious emotions in judgments of moral dilemmas.

It’s hard to help someone when they don’t vocalize what their needs are. You might need to ask some additional questions to get the bottom line truth out of them. Once you know their fundamental needs, you can provide your moral support to ensure that they get their needs from you and anyone else necessary. So, if you’re looking to cheer someone up, consider telling them what you appreciate about them. Give specific details about what you think this person is capable of achieving.

The literature on social support and health is robust and continues to be an active area of research. However, the next generation of studies must be able to explain the contexts and mechanisms for why such associations exist. Such research is in its infancy but is currently being fostered by increasing interdisciplinary perspectives on social support and health. We believe that such approaches will be crucial in order to better tailor primary or secondary support interventions that have beneficial influences on physical health outcomes.

Unless you work as a therapist, you can’t help them rework their thoughts. However, if something seems off, you can help them challenge their negative thoughts while still supporting them in nature. Help them feel heard in the conversation so that they feel relieved after your chat rather than feeling lost in their thoughts after it. If you look at any relationship which has lasted a long time, you will find that it is generally a supportive relationship. A supportive relationship is a relationship which brings mutual benefit to both parties helping them to cope with the tough times and maximise the good times. It cannot replace therapy or medical treatment, but it makes a significant difference to well-being.

We are willing to be discerning in most areas of our life but when it comes to people and relationships, we can be too quick to give our time to anybody that comes along. Compounding the problem is the fact that research and interventions often use different scales to measure emotional support, leaving us with confusion over what the term means and how it can be compared across studies. Examples of scales can be viewed here (NIH Scale of Emotional Support) and here (Emotional Support-Uchida). While it may be clear that emotional support is important, it is less certain what emotional support means, how the meaning changes based on population or context, and how it is provided.

How Large Is the Role of Emotion in Judgments of Moral Dilemmas?

Although no physical health outcomes were measured, one study found that an education and coping intervention over the phone for patients awaiting lung-transplant increased quality of life and lowered depression39. Additionally, using a randomized control design, other researchers40 studied a telephone support group and found it to reduce depression in older caregivers compared to no-intervention control group caregivers. These data suggest the potential usefulness of alternative support interventions which may be especially important for those with practical (e.g., transportation), physical (e.g., disability), or social (e.g., anxiety) barriers. A second potential pathway of interest relates to the influence of social support on health behaviors 26.

I want some moral supportI want slme emotional supportwhat is the difference?

When someone needs moral support, consider sharing things that inspire you. You might make a list of inspirational videos or songs that uplift you when you need a boost. You could also write a letter of support similar to the one you received when you needed it. You could curate a collection of inspirational things and compile it for this person so that they can regain the confidence to tackle everything they’re facing. It’s very common that we do get involved in friendships that are not beneficial to us. Some people will call themselves your friend, but they can be detrimental to you.

Even if the difficult situation continues, emotional support can help, for example by preventing the person’s distress from escalating. And if you’re struggling to make friends or keep them, you might reach out to a therapist. A mental health provider may be able to assist you in managing your relationships in a healthy way so you can have the social support you need to be your best. If you have ever tried to give up a bad habit, such as smoking, you probably realize just how important social support can be. If your social connections do not support you, it can make success much more difficult. If your friends and family offer support and encouragement, you may find achieving your goal much more possible.


For instance, research has suggested that males are more likely than females to not receive adequate emotional support, suggesting that how emotional support is perceived and defined may differ by sex. Similar patterns are seen by age where older adults over the age 75 years are the most likely to report not receiving social and emotional support compared to those who are younger. Active listening, emotional validation, and offering reassurance are all examples of emotional support, but a person should tailor their approach to each individual and setting. People who want to be emotionally supportive need to consider what they know about the person seeking support, including their needs and feelings.

For instance, one qualitative study in cancer support groups identified the unique role of such groups to be sources of available community, information, and acceptance; in contrast to waning support from overburdened family and friends. Additionally, these are situations in which patients can offer support to others and patients report that belonging to these groups provided an element of support that augmented other-network support33. A study conducted by Pfund et al. [12] (2020) found sending a motivational letter to patients needing psychological treatment for gambling disorders increased the rate of first therapy session attendance.

How to show emotional support

AIS does not provide any clinical services nor are we able to respond to requests for assistance with personal problems other than to suggest resources that may be helpful when appropriate. Five participants were excluded for missing at least one catch question, leaving 261 participants in the final analyses. The exclusion of these participants did not affect the results of the study. Talking to people who are going through the same experience can often be a source of support, empathy, and motivation.

Examples of moral support in a Sentence

And when you realize you’re helping people who might be struggling themselves, you realize you’re not alone in your suffering. You should show moral support because it helps people when they’re struggling. When people are having a difficult time, they often need more help than when they’re doing well.

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