The Nature and Prevention of Harm in Technology-Mediated Self-Help Settings

Three Exemplars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper argues that in addition to the substantial benefits they provide for members, on-line support groups create the potential for harm. Qualitative discourse analysis methods are used to examine messages exchanged in three distinct groups comprised of sexual abuse survivors, persons with disabilities, and parents. Examples of on-line practices with the potential to be harmful to individuals, dyadic relationships, and the larger group are identified. Several protective practices used by these groups that appear uniquely adapted for on-line support environments are also documented. Tentative guidelines are suggested for human services professionals interested in developing on-line support groups or referring clients to existing groups. The paper concludes with a discussion of the need for more research and a caution about the ethical responsibilities of researchers and practitioners who venture into this rapidly developing context of human service work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-293
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Technology in Human Services
Volume17
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2000

Fingerprint

Self-Help Groups
self-help
Technology
Sex Offenses
Disabled Persons
Survivors
Group
Parents
Research Personnel
Guidelines
Research
service work
discourse analysis
sexual violence
parents
disability
responsibility
human being

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Harmful effects
  • Internet
  • Support groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

The Nature and Prevention of Harm in Technology-Mediated Self-Help Settings : Three Exemplars. / Waldron, Vincent; Lavitt, Melissa; Kelley, Douglas.

In: Journal of Technology in Human Services, Vol. 17, No. 2-3, 2000, p. 267-293.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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