Examining the Effects of Social Bonds and Shame on Drug Recovery within an On-Line Support Community

Academic Article


  • Past research has demonstrated the utility of on-line support groups for individuals to form relationships and make connections. Additionally, some on-line communities have expanded to provide various types of support, particularly for deviant behavior. These virtual communities may be particularly indispensable to individuals who, out of fear of condemnation, are reluctant to seek traditional forms of social support. For purposes of this study, we examined how members of a substance abuse recovery on-line support group expressed feelings pertaining to their own substance abuse, as well as their processes of attempted or successful recovery. Using an inductive approach for our preliminary analysis, we first assessed which theories were most prevalent throughout the writers' journals. We then used these theories, both Hirschi's theory of social control and Braithwaite's theory of reintegrative shaming, as frameworks to explore the differences between those who were in recovery and those who were still using. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Woodward VH; Misis ML; Griffin OH
  • Start Page

  • 938
  • End Page

  • 958
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 11