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.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 62nd Annual International Communication Association Conference|
|Place of Publication||Phoenix, AZ, USA|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||The annual meeting of the International Communication Association - Phoenix, AZ, USA|
Duration: 24 May 2012 → 28 May 2012
|Conference||The annual meeting of the International Communication Association|
|Period||24/05/12 → 28/05/12|