Sharing Experiences Online: When Peer Responses Decrease the Negative Impact of Emotional Disclosure Writing

A.E. Batenburg, E. Das

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Online support group participation is beneficial for psychological and physical wellbeing, but little is known about the processes that bring about such positive changes. The present study tests the effects of two key-elements in forum use: (1) expressive writing and (2) the interactive aspect; responses from peers. Hypotheses were tested in a 2 (Writing style: cognitive reappraisal vs. emotional disclosure) x 3 (Response type: cognitive reappraisal vs. socio-affective vs. no response) factorial design among 117 participants. Results showed that receiving a cognitive reappraisal response, rather than a socio-affective response or no response, decreased negative emotions and symptom reporting in the emotional disclosure writing group and had no effects in the cognitive reappraisal writing group. Cognitive reappraisal responses in support groups may be most effective because they provide a positive way out of negative emotions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 62nd Annual International Communication Association Conference
Place of PublicationPhoenix, AZ, USA
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventThe annual meeting of the International Communication Association - Phoenix, AZ, USA
Duration: 24 May 201228 May 2012

Conference

ConferenceThe annual meeting of the International Communication Association
Period24/05/1228/05/12

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