Coping and social support in a group of widows
The problem of the study was twofold: (a) to determine whether significant relationships exist among widows' social support and coping skills; (b) to determine whether widows' social support and coping skills are affected by age, length of widowhood, income, and health status. Lazarus' (1966, 1981, 1984) theory of coping and Kahn's (1979) theory of social support formed the theoretical framework for the study. The sample for the study was a convenience sample of 50 widows who were obtained from lists of spouses of hospice patients, and widows from support groups.
The hypotheses were tested using the Pearson's r correlation coefficient and multiple regression statistical techniques. The instruments used in the study were the Jaloweic Coping Scale and the Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire. Demographic data were obtained by using a researcher-designed data sheet. Relationships between the scores of both instruments were tested by the use of the Pearson's r correlation coefficient (Hypotheses 1-6). The multiple regression statistical technique was used to determine the effects of the demographic variables on the scores of the questionnaires (Hypotheses 7-14).