Language Style Matching as a Predictor of Perceived Social Support in Computer-Mediated Interaction Among Individuals Coping With Illness

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20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several forms of computer-mediated communication (e.g., online support groups, blogs, social network sites) have been shown to be important resources for social support among individuals coping with illness. The reported study attempts to better understand social support processes in these settings by examining the implications of language style matching—a form of interpersonal coordination involving the degree to which speakers match one another’s use of function words (e.g., articles, prepositions, pronouns). Language style matching among a sample of health bloggers and their readers over a 3-month period was tested as a predictor of bloggers’ perceptions of support available from their readers. The results show that language style matching contributed to bloggers’ perceptions that their readers are willing and able to serve as a resource for specific forms of social support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-712
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Research
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Keywords

  • computer-mediated communication
  • language style matching
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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