The association of social support with emotional distress in relation to adversities such as social problems, physical health and undesirable life events was assessed in an Italian community sample of 222 men and 224 women. Univariate comparisons and logistic regression analyses showed that neither the quality of a confiding core relationship nor social support from kin confidants was related to adversities. In women only, social support from friend confidants exerted a statistically significant independent main effect together with social problems and undesirable life events in producing a greater probability of emotional distress. The implications of these findings are discussed considering the socio-cultural characteristics of Italian families and individual coping strategies.
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