Coping with distress among adolescents: Effectiveness of personal narratives on support websites

Mariën, Sofie and Vandebosch, Heidi and Pabian, Sara and Poels, Karolien Coping with distress among adolescents: Effectiveness of personal narratives on support websites. Comunicar, 2021, vol. 29, n. 67. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

Sharing, reading and responding to personal narratives on peer-to-peer support websites may provide adolescents with informational and emotional support to feel more confident in coping with stressful events. However, their use may also pose a threat to adolescents’ coping self-efficacy. Principles of expressive writing, social sharing of emotions, narrative persuasion and self-effects may provide insight in how these actions may both positively and negatively relate to coping self-efficacy. By using a cross-sectional online survey with 311 Dutch-speaking adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18, this article explores how these actions and social support motives (i.e. information-seeking and emotional support-seeking) are related to adolescents’ perceptions about the usefulness of these websites to their coping self-efficacy. The results showed a positive relation between adolescents’ social support motives and their belief in the usefulness of these websites to their coping self-efficacy. Therefore, we conclude that it may be an effective coping strategy for many adolescents. There was a negative relation between experience with sharing a personal narrative and coping self-efficacy, meaning that these users did not perceive the website to be helpful to their overall confidence in coping with stressful events. However, this negative relation was reversed when they were motivated to find emotional support with similar others.

Spanish abstract

Compartir, leer y responder a narraciones personales en webs de apoyo entre iguales puede tanto fortalecer como amenazar la confianza de los adolescentes para hacer frente a los acontecimientos estresantes (es decir, la autoeficacia como estrategia de afrontamiento). Los principios de la escritura expresiva, el intercambio social de emociones, la persuasión narrativa y los efectos en uno mismo pueden proporcionar información sobre la forma en que esas acciones pueden relacionarse con la autoeficacia como estrategia de afrontamiento. Mediante una encuesta transversal en línea con 311 adolescentes de habla holandesa de entre 14 y 18 años, este artículo explora cómo estas acciones y los motivos del apoyo social (es decir, la búsqueda de información y la búsqueda de apoyo emocional) se relacionan con la autoeficacia de los adolescentes como estrategia de afrontamiento tras usar la web de apoyo entre iguales. Los resultados muestran que la experiencia de los usuarios al leer y responder a narraciones personales no estaba relacionada con su autoeficacia de afrontamiento. Sin embargo, se encontró una relación negativa entre la experiencia de compartir una narración personal y la autoeficacia, por lo que los usuarios no percibieron que el sitio web fuera útil para su confianza general a la hora de hacer frente a acontecimientos estresantes. No obstante, esta relación negativa se invirtió cuando también tenían el objetivo de encontrar apoyo emocional con sus iguales.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Adolescence; coping strategies; narrative; quantitative analysis; social support; virtual environments; Adolescencia; estrategias de afrontamiento; narrativa; análisis cuantitativo; apoyo social; ambientes virtuales
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 09 Jan 2021 06:58
Last modified: 09 Jan 2021 06:58


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