Relational self-construal moderates the effect of social support on life satisfaction

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While social support is associated with a host of important physical and psychological benefits, these effects are not always straightforward. Still, the moderating factors that might underlie individual differences in reactions to social support are not well-understood. In the current studies, we examined individual differences in relational self-construal in the typically positive relationship between social support and life satisfaction. In Study 1 (N = 79) relational self-construal moderated the relationship between social support and life satisfaction such that social support was especially beneficial for those with high relational self-construal. We replicated this effect in Study 2 (N = 284), and also found that social support was especially important for individuals with high relational self-construal in the context of high feelings of stress. These studies suggest that social support has differently gauged effects on life satisfaction depending on an individual’s relational self-construal.