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Scand J Psychol. 2002 Dec;43(5):445-9.

Online group interaction and mental health: an analysis of three online discussion forums.

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Institute of Psychology, University of Tromsø, Norway.


The present study examined interactions on three Norwegian online discussion forums, and attempted to identify differences in interactions and plausible outcomes of thematically dissimilar forums. Four categories were applied to the forums in order to distinguish potentially constructive and destructive uses. Interaction along the constructive-destructive dimension was contingent upon the themes discussed, as well as the level and nature of professional involvement. Interaction adhering to a destructive dimension was identified only in relation to the forum for eating disorders. Discovering to what extent theme and professional involvement influence interactions in discussion forums might guide further professional involvement in online group settings and the design of appropriate online environments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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