The higher educated mobilize more support from the Internet

In this new open access publication in Information, Communication & Society Uwe Matzat and I find that the higher educated mobilize more problem-focused coping resources (i.e. information and support that help them deal with stressful events) from the Internet when they are in trouble (compared to the lower educated). When we compared the gap between the higher educated and lower educated online versus offline, we found that the differences online were smaller.

Does SNS use buffer against well-being loss among older adults?

This is a new paper published in Computers in Human Behavior by me, Steve Rains, and Kevin Wright. It looks at whether Internet use helps older individuals who are dealing with physical disabilities, or more precisely whether the negative effect of physical disability on well-being is reduced by time spent on social network sites.
This link can be used to access the article.

For older people being a volunteer can become an important role

In this new publication with John Wilson (Duke University) we show that the role of being a volunteer becomes a more important part of self identity in older age; older individuals are more likely to perceive voluteering as meaningful and consider it part of who they are. This is boosted by retirement but also by being unemployed or disabled. Religiosity is also an important determinant of volunteer role identity.
The article is published online (open access) in the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

Talks this week

I’m giving two talks this week. Tomorrow at the SSI conference I’m presenting a paper written together with Kevin Wright entitled “What Determines the Quality of Relationships in Online Support Groups?”. If you are interested: you can still register for the conference as far as I know. Alternatively, you can download the sheets of the presentation here.

Last Tuesday, I gave a talk on “Personal relations in the Internet age” at the PARIS research colloquium of VU Amsterdam. You can take a look at the sheets of that presentation

Two papers on getting help using the Internet

Two new publications from my project on how individuals use the Internet when dealing with negative life events.
With Sonja Utz and Vera Toepoel I showed how online coping can be measured and which online activities are helpful. This paper was published online in Social Science Computer Review.
With Kevin Wright I showed that the Internet is especially helpful for those who report feelings of loneliness, social isolation, and low self-esteem. In addition, we found that men mobilized more online coping resources than women. The paper will be published in Computers and Human Behavior and can be downloaded here.

Talk Kevin Wright on online support groups at TiU

On Wednesday 14 October (12:30-13:30; CZ-8) Kevin B. Wright (George Mason University) will give a talk entitled “More than Medicine: Online Support Groups for Individuals Facing Stigmatized Health Conditions.” Kevin is a renowned scholar in the area of social support and health and he has been studying online support groups for more than 15 years. He will talk about some of his current and future research projects in this area.
Registration is not required.

For more information on Kevin Wright look here or here.