Online emotional social support and coping with stress and crises

Jessica Gall Myrick, Rachelle L. Pavelko, Olivia Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


People rely on their personal networks for an abundance of resources, including emotional, social, and physical support. Digital media provide many tools for seeking and using these networks and their social benefits. Social networks are particularly useful to help enhance individual coping capabilities, and the emergence of digital media and technologies has broadened access to meaningful social support during stressful situations by creating both informal and formal spaces for interaction. This chapter first presents a conceptual overview of stress, coping, and social support before addressing the role of digital media in these processes. Additionally, several exemplar crises (e.g., natural disasters) are highlighted that reveal the utility, versatility, and challenges with online social support. Lastly, this chapter presents the COVID-19 pandemic as a case study for examining the intersection of digital media, social support, and emotion-focused coping during a time when online interactions were a vital source of connection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmotions in the Digital World
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Affective Experience and Expression in Online Interactions
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780197520567
ISBN (Print)9780197520536
StatePublished - Jul 20 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology

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