3 years ago

Building addiction recovery capital through online participation in a recovery community

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. Hypotheses Predicted was that online participation on the group's Facebook page and positive identity development are associated to retention in the program. Methods 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. Results 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. 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.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0277953617305944

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