Building addiction recovery capital through online participation in a recovery community

BLIUC, Ana-Maria and BEST, David (2017). Building addiction recovery capital through online participation in a recovery community. Social Science and Medicine, 193, 110-117.

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Link to published version:: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.09.050

Abstract

The study examines how online participation in a recovery community contributes to personal journeys to addiction recovery. We investigate whether recovery capital building - as indicated by increased levels and quality of online social interactions - and markers of positive identity development predict retention in a recovery program designed around fostering community involvement for early stage recovery addicts. We predicted that high levels and quality of online participation on the group's Facebook page and positive identity development predict retention in the program. To map how participants interact online we conducted social network analysis (SNA) based on naturally occurring online data on the Facebook page of a recovery community. We used computerised linguistic analysis to conduct a sentiment analysis of the textual data (capturing social identity markers). We used linear regression analysis to test whether our indicators of recovery capital predict program retention. To illustrate our findings in the context of the recovery community, we also present case studies of two key participants who moved from the periphery to the centre of the social network. By conducting in-depth interviews with these participants we were able to explore personal experiences of social media usage in the context of their recovery journeys for group members who have undergone some of the most significant changes since joining the community. We found that retention in the program was determined by a) the number of comment 'likes' and 'all likes' received on the Facebook page; b) position in the social network (degree of centrality); and c) linguistic content around group identity and achievement. In conclusion, positive online interactions between members of recovery communities support the recovery process through helping participants to develop recovery capital that binds them to groups supportive of positive change.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Law and Criminology Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.09.050
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2017 11:32
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 11:15
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16940

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