Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

How Social Support Style Affects Financial Risk-Taking Behavior: A Cross-Cultural Study

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

How Social Support Style Affects Financial Risk-Taking Behavior: A Cross-Cultural Study

Article excerpt

Traditionally, in studies on risk taking the focus has been on the influence of individual-level variables on risky behaviors (Ben-Ari, Florian, & Mikulincer, 1999). However, findings in recent research suggest that risk taking can also be socially focused. Baker, Moschis, Benmoyal-Bouzaglo, and dos Santos (2013) reported that relational resources may play an important role in individuals' risky financial behaviors. For instance, people who have wider social networks are more willing to take financial risks than are those with narrower social networks, because they feel they have more people to rely on if things go wrong (Hsee & Weber, 1999; Mandel, 2003).

Harvey and Alexander (2012) observed that "not all relationships are supportive, and many researchers now recognize that structural aspects of social networks, such as the absolute number or density of social contacts, do not necessarily translate into an increase in support received" (p. 2). This caveat suggests that social support may differ in style and that different styles of social support may have effects other than the level of social support. However, current researchers have focused only on the effect of the level of social support, and the impact of different styles of social support has so far been ignored. In the present study, we expanded on this aspect of social support research by examining whether or not different styles of support are related to risky financial behaviors. Findings reported in previous research have shown that culture and social norms influence both the level of social support (Hsee & Weber, 1999; Weber, Hsee, & Sokolowska, 1998) and seeking-social-support behaviors (Kim, Sherman, Ko, & Taylor, 2006; Kim, Sherman, & Taylor, 2008; Taylor et al., 2004). In the present research, our aims were to examine whether or not social support styles differ cross-culturally; whether or not different styles of social support are related to risky financial behaviors; and whether or not any such cross-cultural differences in risky financial behaviors are mediated by different styles of social support.

Cohen and Lichtenstein (1990) identified positive and negative socially supportive behaviors in relation to smoking abstinence. Harber, Schneider, Everard, and Fisher (2005) classified social support into two types: directive and nondirective. Directive support means that support providers are overinvolved and overprotective. Nondirective support is characterized by behaviors or attempts to facilitate rather than to dominate the individual's coping style.

The most extensively discussed types of social support include emotional, instrumental, and informational (e.g., Birditt, Antonucci, & Tighe, 2012). Previous researchers differentiated these types of social support from the perspective of content. However, in the present research we argued that these types of social support reflect different styles and would exert different influences on risky financial behaviors. Umberson and Montez (2010) stated that "the quality of relationships includes positive aspects of relationships, such as emotional support provided by significant others, and strained aspects of relationships, such as conflict and stress" (p. 1). Emotional social support is a form of positive support (Williams, Niemiec, Patrick, Ryan, & Deci, 2009). However, Barrera, Sandier, and Ramsay (1981) and Stokes and Wilson (1984) indicated that guidance-that is, advice, information, and feedback provided to individuals by close others- has a more directive or parental quality. Therefore, we reasoned that emotional social support and guidance represent two different styles of social support. Stokes and Wilson (1984) noted that the general tendency in the North American cultural context is to provide emotional support. However, Wellisch et al. (1999) found that Chinese received more guidance than White North Americans did, whereas White North Americans received more emotional social support than Chinese did. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.