Patterns of support in an online community for smoking cessation

Ploderer, Bernd, Smith, Wally, Howard, Steve, Pearce, Jon, & Borland, Ron (2013) Patterns of support in an online community for smoking cessation. In 6th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T ’13, ), 29 June - 2 July 2013, Munich, Germany.

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Social support offers various benefits for health and behaviour change. However, previous work has shown that individuals are typically reluctant to ask for support on social network sites, unless they can present a changed, healthier identity. To examine the relationship between stage of change and social support we conducted a thematic analysis of messages posted in a public Facebook support group for people trying to quit smoking. Our findings show that the kind of support exchanged online is related to participants' stage of change. Contrary to our expectations, supportive responses and leadership in the support group came mainly from users who just started their change process rather than people who had already changed. We discuss contributions to theories of online participation and impression management as well as implications for practitioners who seek to establish support groups.

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2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 93526
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: online communities, social support, behaviour change, smoking cessation
DOI: 10.1145/2482991.2482992
ISBN: 9781450321044
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 09 Mar 2016 03:41
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2016 04:20

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