Lean on Me: The Importance of a Social Support Network for Adult Students
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Social support and social support networks are important factors in creating positive feelings of self-efficacy and confidence and helping to mitigate negative feelings or behaviors. Typically used in health and wellness environments, their utility in academic settings to address issues of student persistence is an emerging practice that continues to show promise. This chapter outlines the history and impact of these supports from the context of student affairs and the behavioral sciences and shares emerging best practices for consideration. The chapter concludes with several key principles and characteristics of social supports that can help inform practices that educational leaders can consider when serving adult students in the most holistic way possible.