The Membership Life Cycle in Online Support Groups

Galit Nimrod


This study explores the membership life cycle in online support groups for people with depression by examining 558 people with various membership durations in 16 online support groups. Results indicated that membership duration was associated with age, self-defined condition, frequency of visits, active posting, the benefits gained from participation, and the level of depression. Related to both behavioral and psychological aspects of participation, these findings serve as a basis for suggesting a membership life cycle model that is exclusive for online support groups.

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