Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blogging may help teens dealing with social distress

Date:
January 4, 2012
Source:
American Psychological Association
Summary:
Blogging may have psychological benefits for teens suffering from social anxiety, improving their self-esteem and helping them relate better to their friends, according to new research.

Blogging may have psychological benefits for teens suffering from social anxiety, improving their self-esteem and helping them relate better to their friends, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Related Articles


"Research has shown that writing a personal diary and other forms of expressive writing are a great way to release emotional distress and just feel better," said the study's lead author, Meyran Boniel-Nissim, PhD, of the University of Haifa, Israel. "Teens are online anyway, so blogging enables free expression and easy communication with others."

Maintaining a blog had a stronger positive effect on troubled students' well-being than merely expressing their social anxieties and concerns in a private diary, according to the article published online in the APA journal Psychological Services. Opening the blog up to comments from the online community intensified those effects.

"Although cyberbullying and online abuse are extensive and broad, we noted that almost all responses to our participants' blog messages were supportive and positive in nature," said the study's co-author, Azy Barak, PhD. "We weren't surprised, as we frequently see positive social expressions online in terms of generosity, support and advice."

The researchers randomly surveyed high school students in Israel, who had agreed to fill out a questionnaire about their feelings on the quality of their social relationships. A total of 161 students -- 124 girls and 37 boys, with an average age of 15 -- were selected because their scores on the survey showed they all had some level of social anxiety or distress. All the teens reported difficulty making friends or relating to the friends they had. The researchers assessed the teens' self-esteem, everyday social activities and behaviors before, immediately after and two months after the 10-week experiment.

Four groups of students were assigned to blog. Two of those groups were told to focus their posts on their social problems, with one group opening the posts to comments; the other two groups could write about whatever they wanted and, again, one group opened the blog up to comments. The number and content of comments were not evaluated for this experiment. The students could respond to comments but that was not required. Two more groups acted as controls -- either writing a private diary about their social problems or doing nothing. Participants in the writing and blogging groups were told to post messages at least twice a week for 10 weeks.

Four experts, who held master's or doctoral degrees in counseling and psychology, assessed the bloggers' social and emotional condition via their blog posts. Students were assessed as having a poor social and emotional state if they wrote extensively about personal problems or bad relationships or showed evidence of low self-esteem, for example.

Self-esteem, social anxiety, emotional distress and the number of positive social behaviors improved significantly for the bloggers when compared to the teens who did nothing and those who wrote private diaries. Bloggers who were instructed to write specifically about their difficulties and whose blogs were open to comments improved the most. All of these results were consistent at the two month follow-up.

The authors conceded that the skewed sex ratio was a limitation to the study. However, the researchers analyzed the results separately by gender and found that boys and girls reacted similarly to the interventions and there were no major differences. However, they say future research should attempt to control for gender.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Meyran Boniel-Nissim, Azy Barak. The therapeutic value of adolescents' blogging about social–emotional difficulties.. Psychological Services, 2011; DOI: 10.1037/a0026664

Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association. "Blogging may help teens dealing with social distress." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104115104.htm>.
American Psychological Association. (2012, January 4). Blogging may help teens dealing with social distress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104115104.htm
American Psychological Association. "Blogging may help teens dealing with social distress." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104115104.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Researchers at University of Texas at Austin found a link between binge-watching TV shows and feelings of loneliness and depression. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

BuzzFeed (Jan. 28, 2015) "No, I&apos;m not mad. Why, are you mad?" Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins