O'DONNELL-TRUJILLO, SALLY JEAN; PHD

                        THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, 1983

                        SOCIOLOGY, INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY STUDIES (0628)

                         Social supports and social networks are viewed as elemental forces in the maintenance and promotion of
                         individuals' well-being. They are forces which need to be strengthened to enable individuals to better
                         handle the stress of everyday life. People experience stress in a variety of situations and use a variety of
                         supportive behaviors from a variety of sources to manage stress. The delineation of the intricate
                         interrelationships among three types of social network members, six types of social support and ten
                         types of life event stresses constitutes the body of this dissertation. The interrelationships are first
                         examined from a role theory perspective via three propositions. First, different social network members
                         are mobilized for different types of social support. Second, different social network members are
                         mobilized for different life event stresses. And third, different social supports are mobilized for different
                         life event stresses. Each proposition is examined by a series of hypotheses and results are expected to
                         vary according to academic class standing, religious background and gender. A ten percent random
                         sample (N = 1936) of college students from the University of Utah was employed to examine the
                         relational pairs involving social support, social network and life event stress. The sample of normal college
                         students in real life stressful situations aids in the generalizability of the study. The relationships between
                         the nominal support, network and stress variables are analyzed using studentized range multiple
                         comparisons of means measures. Results are discussed in terms of patterns of social network and social
                         support mobilizations. The emergent patterns of role relationships indicate the presence of role
                         enactment voids which are likely to occur throughout a student's career. These voids are identified as
                         areas in which professionals may temporarily expand their role. Results are also discussed in terms of
                         their uniqueness to the sample due to the large portion of Latter Day Saint respondents and the
                         commuter school nature of the university. The present research indicates what normal people do, whom
                         they turn to and what they receive in terms of social support when confronted with stressful life events.

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