Social support has emerged in the last decade as a significant health behavior and, therefore, a promising focus of theory development in nursing. Nursing's concern with health, environment, and person provides an ideal perspective from which to take the lead in research, instrument development, and theory construction in social support. The focus of this article is the present development of the construct to assist nurse scholars toward an adequate conception of social support. Theoretical frameworks underlying definitions are examined, and issues of measurement and clinical assessment are discussed.
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