The mutual-help support group is a delivery setting for therapeutic treatment that has been known to have benefits not seen in face to face treatment. The phenomenon of self-monitoring (Snyder, 1974) is the controlling of self-disclosures as a communication strategy for self-preservation. Self-monitoring was known to occur less in mutual-help groups than in other online groups in previous research, but data as to why was lacking. The beneficial negative disclosures, which provides information on the more immediate concerns of a group member, has been shown in previous research to be decreased by self-monitoring. Therefore, the conceptual framework detailed in this dissertation manuscript suggests that mutual-help groups function with the potential to act as a buffer against the internal need to self-monitor disclosures, which would be detrimental to outcomes. The current study consisted of five main research questions that focused on rationales for self-disclosure behaviors, in order to explore the functions that accompany mutual-help group self-monitoring. An interpretive research approach with thematic analysis and pattern matching of codes is used to analyze the interview data of 12 group members about their experiences with self-disclosing in their group. Dedoose, a qualitative software program is used to manage the connections seen between constructs. Participant perceptions provides insights into mutual-help group dynamics, self-disclosure flexibility, and support exchange benefits in social-networking support groups. Findings are discussed through the lens of the theoretical framework, as the conceptual framework specifies how it was previously unknown what social norm conforming behaviors, influential types of social currency, and types of relationships affect the use of self-disclosures in mutual-help. Recommendations for practice and future research are detailed to promote the use of online mutual-help support groups as a beneficial mental-health treatment intervention.
|Commitee:||McKiernan, Patrick , Circo, Deborah|
|Department:||School of Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Cognitive psychology, Information Technology, Web Studies, Public health, Behavioral psychology, Communication, Public administration|
|Keywords:||Mutual-aid, Mutual-help, Online self-help resources, Self-disclosure, Self-monitor, Support groups, Social networking, Mental health interventions|
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