Emotional support is the perception and reality that is looked after, supported by other people, and most popularly, that is part of a supportive social network. These helpful resources can be emotional (e.g., nutrition), informative (e.g., advice), or companionship (e.g., sense of belonging); Tangible (e.g., financial aid) or abstract (e.g., personal advice).
Social support can be measured as the assumption that support is available to anyone, real reception, or the degree for which a person is integrated into the social network. Support can come from many sources, such as family, friends, pets, neighbors, peers, organizations, etc. Social support provided by the government can be referred to as public assistance in some countries. Social support is studied in a wide range of topics including psychology, medicine, sociology, nursing, public health, education, rehabilitation, and social work. Social and emotional support both have been linked to many health benefits for both physical and mental health, but "social support" (eg, gossiping about friends) is not always beneficial.
Two main models have been proposed to describe the link between social support and health: the buffering hypothesis and the direct impact hypothesis. Genders and cultural references in social support have also been found in areas like education "who can not control the age, disability, income and social status, ethnic and racial or other important factors".