Quid pro quo? : The benefit of reciprocity, multiplexity, and multireciprocity in early career peer support

Thiele, Lisa ORCID; Zorn, Victoria GND; Kauffeld, Simone GND

In the early career phase of higher education, the social relationships with peers are a critical source of developmental support. Peer support relationships tend to be reciprocal and multiplex, such that the actors of the relationships both give and receive multiple facets of developmental support from one another. However, reciprocity and multiplexity alone cannot cover ties that are anti-aligned across the layers of the multiplex network (i.e., one type of support received, and another type of support given in exchange). Therefore, the goal of this study is to integrate reciprocity and multiplexity in order to give consideration to such real-world multilayer relationships. We transferred the approach on multireciprocity introduced by Gemmetto et al. (Phys Rev E 94: 042316, 2016) to weighted network data of 61 university students and explored the possible beneficial effect of reciprocity, multiplexity, and multireciprocity in terms of career outcomes (i.e., objective performance, subjective performance, satisfaction with life). Results revealed no general benefit of mutuality and balance in support relationships. Rather, positive effects emerged for specific constellations of mutuality and support types. Career support in combination with socioemotional support showed to be particularly relevant for early career factors.


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