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ERIC Number: ED446330
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Online Support Groups: Nuts and Bolts, Benefits, Limitations and Future Directions. ERIC/CASS Digest.
Gary, Juneau M.; Remolino, Linda
Online support groups provide an alternative vehicle of support for people in distress by linking people who have similar problems. They have the potential to improve the access and delivery of support to a wide range of people, including some who would not seek face-to-face support at all. Online support groups reduce the sense of isolation caused by geographic or physical/medical constraints and increase feelings of validation. However, they are not for everyone. This digest examines the following issues regarding online support groups: access; format; synchronous groups; asynchronous groups; and group leaders. Also discussed are the strengths of online support groups (increased access to support; adjunct to counseling; therapeutic factors; specialized online support groups; and privacy. Also discussed are the limitations of online support groups (differing stages of group development; limited feedback; crisis management; anonymity breaches; host competency; quality control; members with limited language skills; ethical and legal concerns; and hoax perpetuations). (MKA)
ERIC Counseling and Student Services Clearinghouse, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 201 Ferguson Building, P.O. Box 26171, Greensboro, NC 27402-6171. Tel: 336-334-4114; Tel: 800-414-9769 (Toll Free); Fax: 336-334-4116; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services, Greensboro, NC.