Social Support Assessment

Social Support Assessment

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4020-5.ch003

Abstract

Social media use among communities satisfies eagerness and the transfer of knowledge. However, there is a need for a scientific measurement on the social support and stress dissipated through online interaction. Although an extensive amount of literature on social support exists in social sciences, there is no formal mathematical definition on the topic. This chapter uses the literatures' empirical definitions for social support among communities. This chapter builds a model to access social support in online communities or communities where online interactions take place. This research focuses on healthcare communities, especially autism support groups. However, the models are generalizable and can be applied to other domains.
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Model For Social Support Assessment

Literature on social and information sciences lacks a mathematical definition for online social support. Therefore, the authors have leveraged empirical definitions of social support from computational science and social sciences literature overlapping with the application domain (i.e., healthcare and online interaction to measure social support). Cobb (1976) defined social support as “information leading the subject to believe that he is cared for and loved, esteemed, and is a member of a network of mutual obligations.” Social support in online interaction can be approximately deduced from relevant statistics when influential psychological factors group with metrics from social network analysis (Saha & Agarwal, 2015).

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