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Previous research on patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has suggested that social support is beneficial for helping patients to adjust psychologically to the chronic and unpredictable episodes of pain. This study addresses whether support buffers the adverse effects of arthritis pain or whether support results in a decrease in the severity of pain regardless of pain levels in 233 RA patients. The results indicated that patients who reported higher satisfaction with their emotional support when experiencing higher levels of pain were less likely to be depressed than patients who do not perceive such support. The results were obtained after controlling the effects of demographic variables, functional disability variables, and the direct effects of pain and social support. However, moderating effects of emotional support were not found when this relationship was examined over a 6-month period. Rather, causal modeling suggested that both pain and emotional support contributed to a change in depression over two 6-month intervals. The results also suggested that depression may have an adverse effect on change in emotional support over a similar time frame.