Precedents of perceived social support: Personality and early life experiences


Correspondence address: T.KitamuraFRCPsych Department of Sociocultural Environmental Research, National Institute of Mental Health, 1-7-3 Kohnodai, Ichikawa, Chiba 272-0827, Japan


In order to examine the effects of personality and early life experiences on perceived social support, a total of 97 young Japanese women were investigated. Current interpersonal relationships were measured by an interview modified from Henderson et al.’s Interview Schedule for Social Interaction (ISSI). Personality was measured by Cloninger et al.’s Temperament and Character Inventory. Early life experiences at home and outside of home were also identified in the interview. The number of sources of perceived support was correlated with self-directness, while satisfaction with perceived support was correlated with novelty seeking and with low harm avoidance. No early life experiences — early loss of a parent, perceived parenting, childhood abuse experiences, experiences of being bullied and/or other life events — showed significant correlations with the number or satisfaction of supportive people. The quantity and quality of perception of social support differ in their link to personality, and perceived social support may, to some extent, be explainable in terms of personality.