I’ve blogged about the use of the Internet to obtain information on mental health issues by teens with an unfavorable opinion. I continue to find it potentially dangerous for adolescents to publish diaries on the Internet even though short-term support can easily be found. It is all to easy to find information on mental illnesses and particularly people who believe they have multiple personalities. Usually, when someone publishes a blog or post in a forum claiming to be a teen questioning whether they have multiple personalities, they are flooded with supportive and caring opinions in favor of their questions. There is rarely anyone who takes the time to challenge what the teen is asking about.
Maybe the researchers below, favoring the use of the Internet for journaling as a practical therapeutic endeavor, will create new clients after adolescents learn that publishing personal thoughts and feelings for the world to read is not a good idea. Commiserating with people who believe they have multiple personalities is a sure way to develop them, in many cases.
The therapeutic value of adolescents’ blogging about social–emotional difficulties.
Boniel-Nissim, Meyran; Barak, Azy
Research shows that writing a personal diary is a valuable therapeutic means for relieving emotional distress and promoting well-being, and that diary writing during adolescence helps in coping with developmental challenges.
Current technologies and cultural trends make it possible and normative to publish personal diaries on the Internet through blogs—interactive, online forms of the traditional personal diary. We examined the therapeutic value of blogging for adolescents who experience social–emotional difficulties.
The field experiment included randomly assigned adolescents, preassessed as having social–emotional difficulties, to 6 groups (26–28 participants in each): Four groups were assigned to blogging (writing about their difficulties or free writing; either open or closed to responses), a group assigned to writing a diary on personal computers, and a no-treatment control group. Participants in the 5 writing groups were instructed to post messages at least twice a week over 10 weeks. Outcome measures included scales of social–emotional difficulties and self-esteem, a social activities checklist, and textual analyses of participants’ posts. Measurement took place at pre- and postintervention and at follow-up 2 months later.
Results showed that participants maintaining a blog significantly improved on all measures. Participants writing about their difficulties in blogs open to responses gained the most. These results were consistent in the follow-up evaluation. ( (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)
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The therapeutic value of adolescents’ blogging about social–emotional difficulties by Meyran Boniel-nissim & Azy Barak by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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