The last few years have seen a blossoming of interest in the role of interpersonal relationships in protecting people from the possibly pathogenic effects of stressful events (cf. Caplan, 1974; Cassel, 1976; Cobb, 1976; Heller, 1979; Henderson, 1977; Kaplan, Cassel, & Gore, 1977). The term “social support” has been used widely to refer to the mechanisms by which interpersonal relationships presumably buffer one against a stressful environment. 1 Studies of the role of social support in the prevention of psychological and somatic disorders in the face of stress are multiplying. Moreover, intervention programs based on the hypothesized advantages of increased social support for those experiencing stress have been developed for a diverse range of clients including, among others, the elderly (Pilisuk & Minkler, 1980), the bereaved (Silverman, 1969), and the parents of young children (Kelly, 1980).