Faculty Mentor

Diane B. V. Bonfiglio

Subject Area



Theories suggest that humans may respond to stressful situations by engaging in certain social behaviors aimed at minimizing the effects of stress. Though these social responses during stress have been investigated in many ways, this study adds to the literature by using a standardized Q-sort technique to examine them. When participants characterized situations as more stressful, they reported a greater tendency to distance themselves from others and lesser expressions of warmth. For female participants only, when situations were described as more anxiety-inducing, participants reported greater seeking of assurance. Though male and female participants did not differ with respect to their reports of the stressfulness of situations, they did differ with respect to their reported behaviors in those situations, with female participants reporting more expressing of warmth and male participants reporting more distancing from others.


social support, stress, Q-sort