Computer-mediated communication (CMC) and social support: Testing the effects of using CMC on support outcomes

Stephen A. Rains, Steven R. Brunner, Chelsie Akers, Corey A. Pavlich, Selin Goktas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Despite the growth in research examining the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) for exchanging social support, there remains much to learn about the support-related implications of CMC. An experiment was conducted to examine the influence of the reduced social cues associated with CMC on the outcomes of supportive interaction. Participants discussed a stressor with a confederate either face-to-face or via CMC and received informational or emotional support. Although they received the exact same support messages, participants in the CMC condition reported significantly greater worry and uncertainty discrepancy following the interaction than participants in the face-to-face condition. A main effect was also found for support message type. Consistent with the optimal matching model, informational support led to more beneficial outcomes than emotional support in response to the (controllable) stressor experienced by participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1205
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Internet
  • hyperpersonal communication
  • online support
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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