Although stigma is widely accepted to be a multidimensional construct, the implications of its dimensions for social support warrant greater consideration. We conducted a meta-analysis of 31 content analyses to investigate the association between specific dimensions of stigma and the types of social support messages shared in health-related contexts online. Among health conditions where character stigma was greater, information, network, and tangible support were more prevalent. Physical stigma was associated with a higher prevalence of esteem support. Information, emotional, network, and tangible support were more prevalent among health conditions where concealable stigma was greater. Among health conditions where visible stigma was greater, information, and esteem support were more prevalent. Our study contributes to stigma and social support research by providing evidence that health-related stigma has multiple dimensions each with distinct implications for social support. More broadly, this project offers a framework that can be used to examine the ways in which social meanings of health conditions may be translated into digital behavior.
- online support
- social support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management Information Systems
- Cultural Studies
- Information Systems
- Political Science and International Relations