Development of a scale to code the elicitation of social support
The Social Support Elicitation Behavior Code (SSEBC) was developed to code elicitation behaviors exhibited during videotaped interactions among married couples. The code consists of twenty individual behaviors. The behaviors were divided into the general categories of direct and indirect strategies, based on research by Barbee (1990). In addition, an exploratory factor analysis suggested that the elicitation behaviors could be divided into eight meaningful categories. The relationship between social support elicitation behaviors and social support provision was tested through correlations of direct and indirect strategies, the eight factors, and the individual elicitation strategies with several measures of social support. These measures included subjective and objective ratings of relationship quality, objective ratings of characteristics of the elicitor's and support provider's interaction behavior, and observer ratings of the provision of four specific types of social support: emotional, esteem, informational, and tangible support. General findings were that direct elicitation strategies and the elicitation factor, Problem Solving, were positively correlated with marital adjustment. The factor, Guilt Induction, was negatively correlated with observer ratings of relationship quality. Observer ratings of the elicitor's behavior during the interaction were not correlated with the elicitation strategies that they employed. Specific elicitation strategies predicted the support provider's warmth and responsiveness during the interaction. Elicitation style was also correlated with the overall provision of specific types of support. Positive feedback regarding support provided was the most effective elicitation strategy. Support providers responded with warmth, responsiveness, and three of the four types of support behaviors assessed following positive feedback on their supportiveness. A time series analysis showed that there was a temporal relationship between elicitation in one minute and social support provision in that same minute, and one and two minutes later during the interaction.