The study reported here examines characteristics of weak-tie support network preference among members of health-related computer-mediated support groups. Drawing on weak-tie support network theory and socioemotional selectivity theory, participants' age and health condition were assessed as predictors of weak ties support network preference. Relationships between the dimensions of weak-tie support network preference and perceived stress also were evaluated. The results demonstrated that age was negatively associated with a preference for weak-tie support, and that participants not facing a terminal illness were more likely than those preferring a terminal illness to prefer weak-tie support. The objective utility and greater-perceived-risks dimensions of weak-tie support network preference were significant predictors of perceived stress. The implications of these findings for health communication interventions are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications