Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The investigation was designed to explore the concept of ego support. It was hypothesized that Wright's direct reward of ego support was not an unitary concept but a dual one, consisting of a support Component and a eomfort component. The investigation was divided into two parts: one part tested the independence of the two components; the second part attempted to determine if Target Persons independently designated as varying in comfort value and support value could be validly identified using the Acquaintance Description Form and a supplementary questionnaire. For Study II same sex, well acquainted pairs of subjects were asked to describe a Target Person, fitted a specified description, supplied by their partner. The results from Study I indicated that the two components were independent for male subjects. The same tendency appeared for females although here the two components showed less independence. Due primarily to the results of Study I, only female subjects were used in Study II. The following conclusions may be drawn: (1) it is possible to create positive and negative conditions of support and comfort; (2) the positive and the negative conditions result in differing degrees of friendship; (3) active support is more important for females than it is for males, and (4) the evidence indicates that ego support is a dual not an unitary concept but further research is needed in this area.