Blogging good for anxious teens

Teens suffering from social anxiety may find that blogging improves their self-esteem and helps them relate better to friends.

We know that writing a personal diary and other forms of expressive writing are a great way to release emotional distress and feel better. But new research published by the American Psychological Association claims that writing an online journal, or blogging, is bringing even greater benefits to teenagers with social problems. And opening up the blog to comments from the online community intensified those effects.

Blogging good for teens with social anxiety

Image by stuartpilbrow, Flickr

“Although cyberbullying and online abuse are extensive and broad, we noted that almost all responses to our participants’ blog messages were supportive and positive in nature,” said the study’s co-author, Azy Barak, PhD. “We weren’t surprised, as we frequently see positive social expressions online in terms of generosity, support and advice.”

Researchers selected 161 students with an average age of 15 to participate in the 10-week study. These students had all shown some level of social anxiety or distress.

Self-esteem, social anxiety, emotional distress and the number of positive social behaviours improved significantly for the bloggers when compared to the teens who did nothing and those who wrote private diaries.

Bloggers who were instructed to write specifically about their difficulties and whose blogs were open to comments improved the most. All of these results were consistent at the two-month follow-up.

Read the full article about the study published online in the APA journal Psychological Services.





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