Coping through blogging : A review of studies on the potential benefits of weblogs for stress reduction

This paper provides a descriptive overview of the empirical evidence for potential effects of reflective weblog writing for coping with stress. Seventeen studies meeting the inclusion criteria are summarized in a systematic synopsis. Sixteen studies focus on self-initiated blogging in informal contexts. Only one study examines mandated weblog writing for coping in an institutionalized context. Results indicate that the public nature of weblogs opens up a variety of possibilities for both problem-focused and emotion-focused coping, most importantly through social support. Although these studies show promising results, it remains unclear if and how the benefits of self-initiated blogging can be transferred to more formal settings. Thus, future research should examine how blogging can be mandated and scaffolded in order to foster coping strategies and decrease stress levels. For this purpose, experimentally controlled and longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach.

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