Does activity level in online support groups for distressed adolescents determine emotional relief?
Barak, A.~~Dolev-Cohen, M.
The current study aimed at testing a possible moderator affecting participants’ emotional relief when using an online support group: the degree of active involvement. This subject was explored by investigating the number of main and response messages that 20 randomly selected participants posted, as well as the number of replies they received, over the course of three months of participation in an open, online support group intended for suicidal and severely distressed adolescents. Level of distress was measured by a thematic analysis of main messages posted by the participants that was conducted by three pre-trained, expert judges. Results revealed that although the level of participantsÕ distress did not change over time, on the average, it was significantly correlated with activity level: the higher the number of posts and replies, the lower the level of distress in following months.