Facebook-based social support and health: a systematic review

Gilmour, John and Machin, Tanya and Brownlow, Charlotte and Jeffries, Carla (2019) Facebook-based social support and health: a systematic review. Psychology of Popular Media Culture. ISSN 2160-4134

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Abstract

The rise of social networking sites (SNSs) have provided a new avenue for interpersonal communication. Facebook, as the largest SNS targeted at providing access to interpersonal social networks, has been found to be a source of social support. Facebook-based social support has been found to be beneficial across a number of health outcomes, however, no systematic evaluation of these effects, and the factors that influence them, has been conducted. A systematic review has been conducted to examine the effects of Facebook- based social support on health. A total of 27 studies met selection criteria and were included in the final review. Facebook-based social support was found to impact health across three major domains: general health, mental illness, and well-being. Facebook-based social support was found to improve general physical and mental health, as well as well-being. It was also found reduce to symptomology associated with mental illness, including depression, anxiety, online victimisation, and loneliness. There were a number of behavioural factors that influenced these outcomes, including social comparison, communication competence, and self-disclosure. While the effects of Facebook-based social support was found to be generally positive, future research is required to explore how best to maximise this new form of social support.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 23 May 2019. Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health, Informatics and Economic Research (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2020 04:17
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 03:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: social support, Facebook, health, well-being, mental illness
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1037/ppm0000246
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37715

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