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Title: A comparison of empathic communication pattern for teenagers and older people in online support communities
Authors: Siriaraya, Panote
Tang, Caleb
Ang, Chee Siang 
Pfeil, Ulrike 
Zaphiris, Panayiotis 
Keywords: Age differences;Content analysis;Empathy online;Online community;Teenage
Category: Arts
Field: Humanities
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group
Source: Behaviour and Information Technology, 2011, Volume 30, Issue 5, Pages 617-628
Abstract: This article reports a study that investigated the occurrences of empathy in online support communities for teenagers. Qualitative content analysis with 400 messages from a discussion board about depression was used to identify how empathy was expressed in the specific online communication. Emphasis was also placed on the comparison of this age group to older people, by comparing the results with those from a previous study on empathy in an online support community about depression for older people. Specifically, the analysis focused on the frequencies of the categories of the code scheme, linguistic characteristics of the communication content, the occurring components of empathy, and the roles as well as activities of the members. From our analysis, we concluded that young people exchanged a substantial amount of empathic emotional communication when participating in an online support community, and they communicated on a more personal level compared to older people, who tended to engage in a more formal communication. In addition, teenagers also showed a high level of understanding but lower level of concern compared to older persons when expressing empathy online.
ISSN: 0144929X
DOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2011.582146
Rights: © 2011 Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

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