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Dear Olaf,

Perhaps it is interesting for you to know that we found that social support
items in pupils' networks worj fine. I still did not publish these results
of a 1995/1996 study in an international journal (just in Dutch, presented
some papers on conferences, could send you one), so I'll give you some of
the facts here:

In 1995/1996 a network study was conducted in 20 Dutch urban high schools.
All pupils in the fourth grade of the intermediate educational level
("MAVO") of these schools were selected, resulting in a sample of 1,317
pupils between the ages of 14 and 19. A network consisted of all students in
the same grade within a given school. The existence of different types of
relationships was measured by the social network items in the questionnaire.
All the network items focused exclusively on relationships with other pupils
in the same grade. Four of the ten network items concerned social supprt:
(r1) practical support given: 'Which pupils do you help with practical
problems such as doing homework, organizing a party, or completing a
difficult form?'; (r2) practical support received: 'Which pupils help you
...'; (r3) emotional support given: 'Which pupils do you help when they are
depressed, for example, after the end of a love affair or when they have a
conflict with other people?'; (r4) emotional support received: 'Which pupils
help you ...';  The support items were formulated both in terms of receiving
and giving, which facilitated the possibility to control the reliability by
comparing the scores of the response of egos and alters. We found that about
80% of the support relations received by an ego from an alter is also
reported as given by an alter, and vice versa. When egos report no received
support, the chance that alters will report about given support was less
than 1%. We therefore concluded that the reliability of the items is
satisfactory.

Mind, this is not about reciprocitiy of social support, but about
reliability.

Yours,

Chris Baerveldt

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Dr. Chris Baerveldt, senior researcher
Utrecht University
Faculty of Social Sciences
Po Box 80.140
3508 TC Utrecht
tel. -31-30-2534687/4748,
tel. secr .-31-30-2534650/1967
fax -31-30-2539141
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