Assertiveness, social support, and psychological adjustment following spinal cord injury Academic Article uri icon


  • Tested predictions that assertiveness and social support would be significantly predictive of psychological adjustment. Furthermore, it was anticipated that assertiveness and certain types of social relationships would differentially interact to predict adjustment, since positive and negative effects of both variables have been noted in prior research. Trained raters interviewed 156 persons receiving either in-patient or out-patient care for cord injuries and administered measures of assertiveness, social support, depression and psychosocial impairment. Persons who reported a keen sense of responsibility for the welfare of another reported more depression and impairment. Persons reporting higher levels of support facilitating social integration and reassuring personal worth were less depressed. Several significant interactions between assertiveness and different social support relationships revealed beneficial and deleterious effects on depressive behavior and impairment secondary to the disability. Results are discussed as they advance theoretical understanding of the effects of assertiveness and social support. Implications for discriminate cue learning in assertion training for persons with physical disability are proposed.

author list (cited authors)

  • Elliott, T. R., Herrick, S. M., Patti, A. M., Witty, T. E., Godshall, F. J., & Spruell, M.

citation count

  • 39

publication date

  • January 1991