Counseling Psychology


A cross-cultural investigation of social support and burnout

Document Type


Publication Date



American Psychological Association


The current exploratory study examines the different functions of social support (rather than the people who provide them) and their relationship to burnout among 128 Israeli (40% males and 60% females; mean age 28 yrs), 64 Israeli Arab (35% males and 65% females; mean age 24 yrs), 751 Hungarian (38% males and 62% females; mean age 21 yrs), and 48 North American (25% males and 75% females; mean age 25 yrs) social science students (to assure subject homogeneity). Respondents were asked to rate the importance of six support functions and to indicate the extent to which they are available to them in their lives. Their responses were correlated with their burnout scores. Results showed both universal and culture-specific effects. While respondents in all four countries viewed the six support functions as very important, burnout was correlated more with the availability of support than with its importance. Different functions had different importance and availability ratings and different correlations with burnout in the four countries. The results demonstrate the importance of a cross-cultural perspective to the study of social support and burnout.