Social support and newcomer adjustment in organizations: Attachment theory at work?

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Abstract

Social support has been suggested as important for newcomer adjustment to an organization. The present paper reports a longitudinal study of 91 newcomers to three separate organizations. The effects of availability and helpfulness of 10 sources of social support on newcomers reports of psychological distress, satisfaction, intention to leave, and their supervisors assessment of their performance rating (N of supervisors = 41; n of ratings = 91) were examined. The availability of support activities such as offsite training sessions and business trips were found to be associated with decreased psychological symptoms. Helpfulness of various relationship supports were associated with positive adjustment. These results are discussed within the context of attachment theory and our knowledge of social support in work settings.

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