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Title:Leadership and Social Support on the Internet: A Longitudinal Analysis of Mental and Physical Illness Groups
Author(s):Alexander, Stewart Christopher
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Andrea Hollingshead
Department / Program:Speech Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Abstract:This study is a longitudinal analysis of the first year of existence for 24 computer-mediated support groups. This study compared 12 mental health and 12 physical illness computer-mediated support groups develop and evolve over time. The messages by group leaders were examined to see the extent to which these illness groups differ by informational, esteem, and emotional support as well as task maintenance messages and relational maintenance messages. In addition to examining leadership messages, this study also examined the role of leadership and its influence on group message production over time. The role of leadership is examined by looking at the consistency in the number of leaders that represent the group' leadership. In addition, the role of leadership is also examined by looking at the continuation of the same leaders over time. This study has important implications for group communication. Recently CMC research has suggested that theories from group communication are not suitable for studying CMC because the medium provides fundamental differences than face-to-face interactions. However, the results of this study show that there are some similarities between computer-mediated support groups and face-to-face groups. Although the CMC medium allows for different types of leadership patterns to emerge, the patterns that emerge are similar to patterns found in face-to-face groups.
Issue Date:2002
Description:158 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3069966
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2002

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