Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The process and outcome of an on-line mutual support group for student mental health problems
Author: Freeman, Ed
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2003
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This study investigated an on-line mutual support group set up for university students, a group with high levels of psychological distress. A randomised controlled design was used to investigate outcome and process in the group. Participants were randomised to one of two experimental conditions, Support Group or Information Only. Participants in both conditions had access to websites offering advice pages on common student problems. Those in the Support Group condition were also able to access an on-line mutual support group where they were able to read and reply to messages posted by other members of the group. The study found that some students with high levels of psychological distress were receptive to, and made use of, on-line psychological advice and support. Evidence was found for the presence of helping processes that have been hypothesised as therapeutic in other research into group process. There were particularly high levels of self-disclosure and of emotional and informational support. No significant differences in outcome were found between the two experimental conditions. This was the first known study to use a randomised controlled design to investigate an on-line mutual support group similar in structure to naturally occurring groups. Suggestions are made as to how future studies might optimise their designs in order to take account of the particular characteristics of naturally occurring on-line mutual support groups.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available