Measures and References: Social Supports

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Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

Social Support Questionnaire-Short Form (Sarason et al., 1987): Self-report questionnaire of adults' perceptions of the number of supportive relationships and their satisfaction with the relationships.

Adult Learner Social Supports (Lundberg et al., 2008): Self-report questionnaire to assess support that adult learners are receiving from friends and family.


Comings, J. P. (2008). Student persistence in adult literacy and numeracy programs. Tracking adult literacy and numeracy skills (pp. 180-196). Routledge.

Cuban, S. (2003). "So lucky to be like that, someone care": Two case studies of women learners and their persistence in Hasai'i literacy program. Adult Basic Education, 13(1), 19-43.

Eğeci, İ. S., & Gençoz, T. (2006). Factors associated with relationship satisfaction: Importance of communication skills. Contemporary Family Therapy, 28(3), 383-391.

Fraser, S., Beeman, I., Southall, K., & Wittich, W. (2019). Stereotyping as a barrier to the social participation of older adults with low vision: A qualitative focus group study. BMJ Open, 9(9), e029940.

Keyes, C. L. M., & Waterman, M. B. (2003). Dimensions of well-being and mental health in adulthood. In M. H. Bornstein, L. Davidson, C. L. M. Keyes, & K. A. Moore (Eds.), Crosscurrents in contemporary psychology. Well-being: Positive development across the life course (p. 477-497). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Lundberg, C. A., McIntire, D. D., & Creasman, C. T. (2008). Sources of social support and self‐efficacy for adult students. Journal of College Counseling, 11(1), 58-72.

Margaryan, A., Littlejohn, A., and Milligan, C. (2013). Self-regulated learning in the workplace: Strategies and factors in the attainment of learning goals. International Journal of Training and Development, 17(4), 245-259.

Patterson, M. B. (2018). The forgotten 90%: Adult nonparticipation in education. Adult Education Quarterly, 68(1), 41-62.

Prins, E., & Van Horn, B. (2012). Adult learning in family literacy. In B.H. Wasik (Ed.), Handbook of family literacy (pp. 166-180). Routledge.

Sarason, I. G., Sarason, B. R., Shearin, E. N., & Pierce, G. R. (1987). A brief measure of social support: Practical and theoretical implications. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4(4), 497-510.

Shukla, A., Harper, M., Pedersen, E., Goman, A., Suen, J. J., Price, C., ... & Reed, N. S. (2020). Hearing loss, loneliness, and social isolation: A systematic review. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 162(5), 622-633.

Sippel, L. M., Pietrzak, R. H., Charney, D. S., Mayes, L. C., & Southwick, S. M. (2015). How does social support enhance resilience in the trauma-exposed individual?. Ecology and Society, 20(4), 10.

Thoits, P. A. (2011). Mechanisms linking social ties and support to physical and mental health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 52(2), 145-161.

Tsai, H. Y. S., Shillair, R., & Cotten, S. R. (2017). Social support and "playing around": An examination of how older adults acquire digital literacy with tablet computers. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 36(1), 29-55.

Wangberg, S. C., Andreassen, H. K., Prokosch, H. U., Santana, S. M. V., Sørensen, T., & Chronaki, C. E. (2008). Relations between Internet use, socio-economic status (SES), social support and subjective health. Health Promotion International, 23(1), 70-77.

Wright, S. L., Perrone‐McGovern, K. M., Boo, J. N., & White, A. V. (2014). Influential factors in academic and career self‐efficacy: Attachment, supports, and career barriers. Journal of Counseling & Development, 92(1), 36-46.