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Cyberpsychol Behav. 2007 Jun;10(3):475-7.

Disembodiment in online social interaction: impact of online chat on social support and psychosocial well-being.

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1
Department of Speech, Theatre, and Journalism, Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, AR 72801, USA. skang@atu.edu

Abstract

This study investigates how disembodiment--that is, transcendence of body constraints in cyberspace--in online chat affects social psychological well-being. The results demonstrate that disembodiment is a strong predictor of increased loneliness and depression, and decreased social support. However, the amount of chat use is a positive contributor to decreased offline estrangement and depression, and increased happiness. These contrasting results suggest that online chat use is a technology for social connection used for offline connectivity, but the disembodiment motive is associated with declines in social support and psychosocial well-being. The investigation of specified motives for online interaction, personal competency, or advanced technological alternatives in interaction is suggested for future research on the effects of online interaction on offline outcomes.

PMID:
17594274
DOI:
10.1089/cpb.2006.9929
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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