This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Exploring the Role of Self-Esteem, Masculinity, and Attachment on Males' Responses to Social Support




Gaines, Tenille

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


The current study explored the relationship between self-esteem, attachment, and masculinity and males’ responses to two types of social support messages. Participants read a scenario in which they were asked to imagine that they had recently experienced a romantic breakup and in which they were also asked to imagine receiving support from a close friend. Participants were either provided with a positive reframing support message or a negative validation support message. A total of 384 males ages 19-50 participated in the study, however, 85 were excluded due to failure to meet inclusion criteria, leaving 299 participants whose data were used in the final data analyses. Results from the study indicated that self-esteem, attachment, and masculinity did not predict responsiveness to social support. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in participants’ responses to the positive reframing and negative validation support conditions. Additional analyses found that self-esteem was significantly correlated with attachment and age of participants was significantly correlated with responsiveness to social support. The younger a participant, the more responsive he was to social support offerings.