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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/215967
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- Self-help through blogging: psychosocial and motivational aspects
- Baker, James R.
- The current thesis explored why and how people use their blogs, and the psychosocial consequences of blogging. Its three main studies utilized a range of methodologies (qualitative, cross-sectional, longitudinal) and samples (convenience and naturalistic) to examine the use and effects of blogging in terms of perceived and actual benefits. Study 1 (n=289) used an opportunistic qualitative sample to analyze blog commentary on the motivations for blogging and the mechanisms for psychosocial change from the perspective of bloggers themselves. Commentary on previous research conducted by the author on the psychosocial outcomes of blogging provided an opportunity to both validate previous research findings, and to explore in more detail some of the aspects which motivate a blogger to start and maintain their blog. Study 2 (n=603) examined the motivations for blogging from a quantitative perspective, and looked in particular at how the motivations of bloggers differed from those of social networker users. A blogging motivation measure was created and seven motivations emerged from the research: exchanging information, sharing self, exchanging affect, professional advancement, documenting experience, entertainment, and connecting with others. Bloggers were higher than social networkers on all motivations except connecting with others where social networkers were higher, and entertainment where there were no significant differences. The motivations identified the importance of both the existing qualities of pen and paper diaries as therapeutic outlets, and the emergent social qualities of the blog. Study 3 (n=208) explored changes, after a period of 250 days, in psychosocial well-being for bloggers and social network users initially recruited in Study 2 Bloggers were higher than social networkers on mean online bridging and bonding social capital scores, and while bloggers displayed higher scores on social anxiety and emotional distress than social network users at Time 1, there were no differences between the groups at Time 2. Bloggers also experienced significant decreases in social loneliness and increases in online bridging capital over the time period of the study. The psychosocial characteristics of bloggers were largely related to the content bloggers wrote about. Bloggers posting high amounts of personal content generally had higher levels of social anxiety, loneliness, and emotional distress. Overall bloggers indicated that they intended to meet emotional, social, and personal identity needs through using their blog, and bloggers were largely successful at creating online social capital and in decreasing psychosocial ill-being over time. Potential mechanisms of change and clinical implications were briefly discussed.
- Publication type
- Thesis (PhD)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences
- Publication year
- Blogging; Motivational aspects; Psychosocial aspects; Self help
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2011 James Robert Baker.
- Thesis Supervisor
- [Susan Moore]
- Thesis Note
- [Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy, Swinburne University of Technology, 2011.]
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