SEEKING SUPPORT OUTSIDE SPECIFIC RELATIONSHIPS AS A FUNCTION OF RELATIONSHIP STATUS, GENERAL TRUST AND THE PARTICULARISM OF SUPPORT
Souma, T., Ura, M., Nishimura, T., Hiroshima University, Japan
Research in adolescent psychology has shown that romantic relationships have a great effect on the development of adolescents (Matsui, 1997). Conversely, it should be noted that romantic relationships were characterized by exclusivity. This exclusivity may cause people to be reluctant when seeking support from others outside their romantic relationships. The purpose of this study is to investigate factors that enlarge the variety of support relationships of exclusive romantic partners. It has been demonstrated that low general-trusters showed reluctance to seek social support, in particular emotional support, outside their romantic relationships (Souma & Ura, 2001). This finding suggests that the issue of exclusivity of romantic relationships is relevant to the issue of particularism (Foa & Foa, 1976) of support. However, Tornblom (1993) noticed that the level of partircularism of resources varies with the trait of the giver even when they give emotional resources. Therefore, we predicted that even romantic partners low in general trust could effectively seek emotional social support from others outside their romantic relationships if particularism of support is low. To examine the above prediction, we conducted an investigation of 136 undergraduates. As predicted, low general-trusters were less reluctant to seek social support with low particularism outside their romantic relationships than social support with high particularism. These findings suggest that even low general-trusters with a romantic partner could expand their social support network if they receive less particularistic support.