Lifintsev Dmitry Vasilyevich
Доктор педагогических наук, Dr. Sci. (Pedag.), Prof. of Deparment Psychology and Social Work, Baltic Federal University named by I. Kant, sloniki@rambler.ru, Kaliningrad


This article analyzes current research of culturally-specific factors of perception and providing social support. Shown that cultural differences in patterns of searching social support and influence of cultural contexts on the perception of the individual associated with belonging to a culture or collectivist Institute individualistic type. It has been shown that those ones who belong to individualist cultures are more inclined to ask for help, because they are guided by the idea that assist or deny is the result of independent choice of partner, and they tend to regard the support as a manifestation of the desire of another person to help. In collectivist cultures prevails interdependent view of the person which considers individuals as entity associated with community and focused on relationships, and where the group targets have priority over personal beliefs, needs and goals. Communicating to others about his/her difficulties and direct appeal for support is not a normative behavior, and so people tend to accept care with caution. Consequences of a request for assistance may become an additional stressor for them and reduce the positive effects of social support, so the “search for support” strategy as a way to reduce stress is not effective for them.
social support, cultural differences, perceived social support, cross-cultural studies.