Building addiction recovery capital through online participation in a recovery community

Journal article


Bliuc, Ana-Maria, Best, David, Iqbal, Muhammad and Upton, Katie 2017. Building addiction recovery capital through online participation in a recovery community. Social Science and Medicine. 193, pp. 110-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.09.050
AuthorsBliuc, Ana-Maria, Best, David, Iqbal, Muhammad and Upton, Katie
Abstract

This study examines how online participation in a community of recovery contributes to personal journeys of recovery. It investigates 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. It was predicted that online participation on the group's Facebook page and positive identity development are associated to retention in the program. To map how participants interact online, social network analysis (SNA) based on naturally occurring online data (N = 609) on the Facebook page of a recovery community was conducted. Computerised linguistic analyses evaluated sentiment of the textual data (capturing social identity markers). Linear regression analyses evaluated whether indicators of recovery capital predict program retention. To illustrate the findings in the context of the specific recovery community, presented are two case studies of key participants who moved from the periphery to the centre of the social network. By conducting in-depth interviews with these participants, personal experiences of engagement in the online community of group members who have undergone the most significant changes since joining the community are explored. 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.
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.

KeywordsOnline social interactions, Recovery capital, Social identity, Recovery community
Year2017
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Journal citation193, pp. 110-117
PublisherElsevier BV
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.09.050
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/625356
https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/
hdl:10545/625356
Publication dates30 Sep 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Nov 2020, 17:40
Accepted28 Sep 2017
Rights

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

ContributorsWestern Sydney University, Sheffield Hallam University, Monash University and Job, Friends and Houses, UK
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