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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 2, 2015

Help me. I am so alone.” Online emotional self-disclosure in shared coping-processes of children and adolescents on social networking platforms.

Katrin Döveling
From the journal Communications


Losing a close relative or friend is a traumatic event for anyone, especially for children and adolescents. This article investigates the motives and patterns of children’s and adolescents’ interpersonal online communication on bereavement platforms. A qualitative content analysis of two different youth bereavement platforms (n = 21 threads; 319 postings) illuminates how one common feature is the verbalization and illustration of missing support in the offline world. The substantial usage of social network platforms can be considered an extension of children’s and adolescents’ personal social environment. Furthermore, topics on bereavement platforms ultimately go beyond grief, as children and adolescents also include emotions such as hope, gratitude and cohesiveness. Communication within online bereavement communities thus enables a process known from offline communication as transformation from a loss-oriented to restoration-oriented coping (Stroebe and Schut 2010, p. 277).

Published Online: 2015-11-2
Published in Print: 2015-11-1

©2015 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston

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