A Comparison of Empathic Communication Pattern for Teenagers and Older People in Online Support Communities

Siriaraya, Panote and Tang, Caleb and Ang, Chee Siang and Pfeil, Ulrike and Zaphiris, Panayiotis (2011) A Comparison of Empathic Communication Pattern for Teenagers and Older People in Online Support Communities. Behaviour & Information Technology, 30 (5). pp. 617-628. ISSN 0144-929X . (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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This article reports a study that investigated the occurrences of empathy in online support communities for teenagers. Qualitative content analysis with 400 messages from a discussion board about depression was used to identify how empathy was expressed in the specific online communication. Emphasis was also placed on the comparison of this age group to older people, by comparing the results with those from a previous study on empathy in an online support community about depression for older people. Specifically, the analysis focused on the frequencies of the categories of the code scheme, linguistic characteristics of the communication content, the occurring components of empathy, and the roles as well as activities of the members. From our analysis, we concluded that young people exchanged a substantial amount of empathic emotional communication when participating in an online support community, and they communicated on a more personal level compared to older people, who tended to engage in a more formal communication. In addition, teenagers also showed a high level of understanding but lower level of concern compared to older persons when expressing empathy online.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: empathy online; teenage; age differences; online community; content analysis
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming, > QA76.9.H85 Human computer interaction
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Engineering and Digital Arts > Image and Information Engineering
Depositing User: J. Harries
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2012 15:35
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2014 10:00
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/30226 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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