A systematic review exploring how young people use online forums for support around mental health issues

Hanley, Terry ORCID: 0000-0001-5861-9170, Prescott, Julie ORCID: 0000-0001-8612-2495 and Ujhelyi, Katalin (2017) A systematic review exploring how young people use online forums for support around mental health issues. In: 39th Annual Conference of the International School Psychology Association , UK, 19th – 22nd July 2017, Manchester , UK. (Unpublished)

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Official URL: https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/ispa2017/

Abstract

Objective: Young people are increasingly looking to the Internet for support. One area that has received limited attention to date is the way in which this group uses online forums to support mental health difficulties. This paper therefore reviews the literature that has been conducted in this area with a view to examining the opportunities and challenges that service users associate with such support. Methods: A systematic review of electronic databases was undertaken to find the empirical research investigating how young people experience using online forums for support around mental health issues. The retrieved papers were reviewed for relevance and assessed for quality before being examined for key themes. Findings: 21 relevant papers were found. The meta-synthesis identified three themes associated with the opportunities (1) Obtaining emotional and Informational Support, (2) Fostering therapeutic Change, and (3) The practical advantages of the medium, and three themes associated with the challenges (1) Technological difficulties (2) User safety, and (3) Communication problems. Conclusion: This review concludes that online forums can be incredibly useful places for young people to seek out support for mental health issues. The environment provides unique advantages and disadvantages, with the technology proving to be both a help and hindrance.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2019 15:04
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 15:04
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/2485

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