Weak-tie support network preference and perceived life stress among participants in health-related, computer-mediated support groups

Kevin B. Wright, Steve Rains, John Banas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study reported here examines characteristics of weak-tie support network preference among members of health-related computer-mediated support groups. Drawing on weak-tie support network theory and socioemotional selectivity theory, participants' age and health condition were assessed as predictors of weak ties support network preference. Relationships between the dimensions of weak-tie support network preference and perceived stress also were evaluated. The results demonstrated that age was negatively associated with a preference for weak-tie support, and that participants not facing a terminal illness were more likely than those preferring a terminal illness to prefer weak-tie support. The objective utility and greater-perceived-risks dimensions of weak-tie support network preference were significant predictors of perceived stress. The implications of these findings for health communication interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-624
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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