Precedents of perceived social support: Personality, early life experiences and gender


address: Toshinori Kitamura, Department of Psychiatry, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Honjo, Kumamoto, Kumamoto, 860-8556, Japan. Email:


Abstract The perception of social support may be a trait-like construct stemming from the current personality and early environment as well as a summation of the actual support perceived. A total of 220 community individuals were examined for the effects of Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) items and early life experience at home and outside on the number of sources of perceived social support and satisfaction with that support. High extraversion and low neuroticism scores of the EPQ were correlated with the availability of support only in women, while high maternal care and low maternal overprotection in childhood were correlated with the satisfaction with support only in men. Availability of support was also correlated with some types of early life events. The quantity and quality of perception of social support differ in their links to personality and early environment, and may be, to some extent, explainable in terms of them.