This hypothesis shows that stress leads to illness. Social support is actually the shield that protects a person from negative effects during stress. So social support is effective only when it protects a person from negative effects. In fact, based on this hypothesis, social support is a shield against the negative effects of stress on health.
Cohen and Wills (1985) believe that the protection of social support is possible through two ways:
The first way includes cognitive evaluation process. When a person experiences severe stress, if he has high social support, because he knows that others will help him, he does not evaluate that stress very negatively.
The second way is to adjust the response to stress. That is, if a person has evaluated the stress in a negative way, the warmth of others or the mental feeling of being supported by others will be avoided so that he does not show a strong reaction to that stress.