Though many areas of development are integrative, the link between social support and emotional health is greatly acknowledged. The term "social support" often appears in discussions of relationships. Social support means "having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image" (Towey, n.d., Web). Having this social support promotes better emotional health which can help a person face stressful life events.
An example of this integrative development is the rise of loneliness during early adulthood. This is understandable, seeing as young people move through school and jobs, they are constantly building new relationships (Berk, 2010). Often these emotional feelings of loneliness come from not being satisfied with their current relationships or wishing for relationships. A dictionary definition characterizes loneliness as causing a depressing feeling of being alone (Loneliness, dictionary.com). When intense feelings of loneliness continue, it is often linked to many self-defeating attitudes and behaviors (Berk, 2010). Lonely people tend to evaluate themselves and other negatively and are increasing uncomfortable is social situations. This leads to the person being unable to further their chances of making friends.
Having a support group has shown an active connection between social support and areas of wellbeing. Those who have close personal relationships cope better with various stressors, including bereavement, job loss, rape, and illness (Towey, n.d., Web). Church groups, social groups and community centers are all examples of social support networks. They can provide a person with emotional support, which are actions that make a person feel cared for. Instrumental support involves supportive physical deeds, such as buying groceries. When information is given to help someone it is called informational support (Towey, n.d.). To be a support group, a positive relationship and a sense of connection must be made with the support network.