Gender, social support and coping in online prostate, breast and lung cancer support forums
Imbesi, Elizabeth Andrea Swigar
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This study explored the manner in which men and women construct their gender online in terms of offered social support and individualized coping. Qualitative coding of 499 posts on three online cancer discussion forums was based on directed approach content analysis. Coded posts were utilized in quantitative hypothesis testing of gender-cancer diagnosis interactions. The results indicate that in mixed-gender online cancer forums, a shift toward more feminine discourse styles occurs. Implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.