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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2021

Fryni Panayidou and Benjamin Priest

This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of PhD support groups as an intervention that improves mental well-being and increases confidence in timely PhD completion.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of PhD support groups as an intervention that improves mental well-being and increases confidence in timely PhD completion.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants of six PhD support groups, which we co-facilitated, completed a survey at the start of the intervention and at the end of the eight weeks of attendance. The survey measured subjective well-being and confidence in completion using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale and statements from the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (2017 and 2019). The final survey also included open-ended questions to identify the helpful factors of the intervention.

Findings

Participants’ subjective well-being scores increased considerably over the eight weeks of group attendance and improved from initial score ranges associated with risk of depression or psychological distress. As a result of feeling understood and supported by other group members, participants felt less isolated and anxious, were more satisfied with their life and work-life balance, and felt more confident about completing their PhD within the institutional time frame. The results confirm previous findings on the positive effects of social support and the relationship between poor well-being and attrition.

Practical implications

Support groups could form an integral part of university support as they increase well-being and could improve retention.

Originality/value

Existing literature mainly highlights factors that affect postgraduate researchers’ well-being, with limited research on innovative interventions. This paper investigates the impact of social support in a facilitated peer group that focuses on the emotional and psychological aspects of the PhD experience, rather than peer group learning or support with specific research tasks.

Details

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4686

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Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2004

Belle Rose Ragins

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) employees constitute one of the largest, but least studied, minority groups in the workforce. This article examines what we know, and what…

Abstract

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) employees constitute one of the largest, but least studied, minority groups in the workforce. This article examines what we know, and what we need to know, about the career and workplace experiences of this understudied population. The construct of sexual identity is defined, followed by a review of the research on sexual orientation in the workplace. Then an analysis of the differences between LGB employees and other stigmatized groups is presented. Three unique challenges facing LGB employees are identified, and conceptual models are developed that explain underlying processes. Finally, career theories are critically analyzed, and an identity-based longitudinal theory of LGB careers is presented.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-103-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2008

Rosalind Willis

There is a popular perception that particular ethnic groups have a stronger sense of filial responsibility than is found in Western European societies, which has led to a…

Abstract

There is a popular perception that particular ethnic groups have a stronger sense of filial responsibility than is found in Western European societies, which has led to a belief that formal services are not required by minority groups. However, it has been suggested that some minority ethnic older people are actually in greater need of support, because of factors such as poorer health and lower socio‐economic status, than the white majority in Britain. Employing data from the 2005 Home Office Citizenship Survey, ethnic group differences in help given to family members are examined. Contrary to prevailing assumptions, there was only one ethnic group difference; black Caribbean older people had significantly lower odds than white British people of supporting members of their household. Support was equally likely among all other minority groups and the white British group, providing nationally representative evidence for an idea only previously speculated upon.

Details

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0980

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Joy Parkinson, Lisa Schuster, Rory Mulcahy and Heini Maarit Taiminen

This paper aims to examine the service experience in an online support community of consumers to understand the nature of social support and how it is experienced and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the service experience in an online support community of consumers to understand the nature of social support and how it is experienced and enacted by vulnerable consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

A netnographic study was conducted to examine vulnerable consumers’ participation in an online support group for weight management. The Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) program was used, and additionally data were coded using open coding. A hybrid approach to data analysis was undertaken using inductive and deductive methods.

Findings

The findings suggest online social support groups can be used as an online “third place” to support vulnerable consumers, with vulnerable groups engaging with the online support group differently than those in the normal weight group. Social support was also found to be bi-directional in nature.

Research limitations/implications

This study only investigates one online support group. To gain deeper insights, other support groups should be examined over a longer period.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates that transformative services have the hidden capacity to optimize their services to enable vulnerable consumers to co-create social support in a safe place, thus providing a non-judgmental environment with the end goal of improving their health and well-being.

Social implications

Findings reveal how services can enable marginalization and stigmatization to be overcome and inspire social action through the use of online support groups.

Originality/value

This research is unique in that it used a netnography approach to examine how vulnerable consumers interact in an online service setting, reducing self-report bias and allowing for a natural research setting, thus allowing a unique understanding of how vulnerable consumers experience and enact social support.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Shwadhin Sharma and Anita Khadka

Drawing on the taxonomy of patient empowerment and a sense of community (SoC), the purpose of this paper is to analyze the factors that impact the intention of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the taxonomy of patient empowerment and a sense of community (SoC), the purpose of this paper is to analyze the factors that impact the intention of the individual to continue using online social health support community for their chronic disease management.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey design was used to collect the data from multiple online social health support groups related to chronic disease management. The survey yielded a total of 246 usable responses.

Findings

The primary findings from this study indicate that the informational support – not the nurturant support such as emotional, network, and esteem support – are the major types of support people are seeking from an online social health support community. This research also found that patient empowerment and SoC would positively impact their intention to continue using the online health community.

Research limitations/implications

This study utilized a survey design method may limit precision and realism. Also, there is the self-selection bias as the respondents self-selected themselves to take the survey.

Practical implications

The findings can help the community managers or webmasters to design strategies for the promotion and diffusion of online social health group among patient of chronic disease. Those strategies should focus on patient’s empowerment through action facilitating and social support and through creating a SoC.

Originality/value

An innovative research model integrates patient empowerment and a SoC to study patient’s chronic disease management through online social health groups to fill the existing research gap.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Liuliang Yuan and Wei Liu

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways to encourage members in QQ knowledge-communication groups to persistently share knowledge in terms of contexts and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways to encourage members in QQ knowledge-communication groups to persistently share knowledge in terms of contexts and autonomous motivations.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on self-determination theory, three important contextual factors of QQ knowledge-communication groups were selected as exogenous variables and three typical autonomous motivations as mediating variables to construct a knowledge-sharing model. Internet questionnaire surveys and data collection were conducted to test proposed hypotheses by means of structural equation modeling with AMOS.

Findings

Reciprocity, learning, and altruism have significant positive influence on persistent sharing willingness, and the degree to which each factor influences persistent sharing willingness differs considerably. Autonomy support, perceived usefulness, and relatedness support have no significantly direct influence on persistent sharing willingness, but they indirectly influence the persistent sharing behaviors by the mediating effect of different autonomous motivations.

Originality/value

This study contributes theoretically and practically. First, the results suggest that a particular motivation in different contexts has a different degree of autonomy. In addition, explanations are offered for the phenomenon that suggest that controlled motivations directly affect autonomous motivations. It was found that the contextual factors of competence support and relatedness support also have influence on different autonomous motivations, and hence encourage knowledge-sharing behaviors. Specific suggestions for QQ group managers and information seekers are proposed.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Hugh Worrall, Richard Schweizer, Ellen Marks, Lin Yuan, Chris Lloyd and Rob Ramjan

Support groups are a common feature of the mental health support engaged by carers and consumers. The purpose of this paper is to update and consolidate the knowledge and…

Abstract

Purpose

Support groups are a common feature of the mental health support engaged by carers and consumers. The purpose of this paper is to update and consolidate the knowledge and the evidence for the effectiveness of mental health support groups.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a systematic literature review of relevant databases around support groups for mental health. Support groups are defined as meetings of people with similar experiences, such as those defined as carers of a person living with a mental illness or a person living with a mental illness. These meetings aim to provide support and companionship to one another.

Findings

The results show that there is a consistent pattern of evidence, over a long period of time, which confirms the effectiveness of mental health support groups for carers and people living with mental illness. There is strong, scientifically rigorous evidence which shows the effectiveness of professionally facilitated, family-led support groups, psychoeducation carers support groups, and professionally facilitated, program-based support groups for people living with mental illness.

Research limitations/implications

This research implies the use of support groups is an important adjunct to the support of carers and people with mental illness, including severe mental illness.

Originality/value

This research brings together a range of studies indicating the usefulness of support groups as an adjunct to mental health therapy.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 27 December 2013

Lynda L. Anderson, Sheryl A. Larson and Shauna McDonald

This study examined access to and quality of supports for families of adolescents with disabilities.

Abstract

Purpose

This study examined access to and quality of supports for families of adolescents with disabilities.

Methodology

An online survey was completed by family members of transition-aged young adults who had participated in parent training sessions on topics related to transitions to adulthood. Survey responses came from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 4 U.S. territories.

Findings

More than one-third of families reported unmet information needs related to areas such as employment, housing, preparing for adult relationships, and preparing others to support the family members with disabilities. Families of younger transition-aged youth, youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other disabilities, and families with lower household incomes reported more unmet needs. The overall quality of services families reported receiving was 2.19 on a 4-point scale of 1 to 4. Parents reported needing more information and quality of supports related to the transition of youth from school to adulthood.

Practical implications

Given the scope of unmet needs, ongoing collaboration between schools, agencies, organizations, and other entities that serve families is critical. While schools play a key role in supporting the transition process, other organizations also have a role.

Social implications

The results from this survey demonstrate that the need for support is not limited to youth with disabilities, but that family members also have information and support needs related to their roles as caregivers in the transition process.

Originality

This survey provides information about unmet needs and current services from a national sample that includes often underserved populations and includes sufficient numbers of respondents to allow comparisons between families, based on the type of disability their family member had.

Details

Disability and Intersecting Statuses
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-157-1

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2020

Máire O Sullivan and Brendan Richardson

This paper aims to highlight the role of consumption communities as a self-help support group to ameliorate loneliness. The authors suggest that the self-help element of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight the role of consumption communities as a self-help support group to ameliorate loneliness. The authors suggest that the self-help element of consumption communities has been overlooked because of a focus on communities pursuing hegemonic masculinity. Instead, the authors focus on a female-led and – dominated consumption community.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal ethnography was undertaken with the aim of understanding consumer behaviour in a “hyper-feminine” environment. Participant observation, depth interviews and netnography were carried out over five years within the Knitting community, focussing on an Irish Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group.

Findings

A dimension of consumption communities has been overlooked in the extant literature; this female-led and -dominated community functions as a self-help support group used as a “treatment” for loneliness. It also demonstrates all the characteristics of a support group.

Research limitations/implications

This study offers a framework with which new studies of community consumption can be examined or existing studies can be re-examined, through rather than cases of loneliness and self-help support groups.

Practical implications

Marketers have an opportunity to build supportive consumption communities that provide a safe space for support where commerce and brand-building can also occur. Groups aimed at ameliorating loneliness may wish to consider integration of the consumption community model.

Originality/value

Calls have been made for a reconceptualisation of consumption communities as current typologies seem inadequate. This paper responds with a critical examination through the lens of the self-help support group, while also taking steps towards resolving the gender imbalance in the consumption community literature. The paper explores loneliness, a previously underexamined motivator for consumption community membership.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

Susanne Royer and Lisa Bradley

The purpose of this paper is to propose advances for developing our understandings of valuable resources in small family firms. The focus is on group support behavior…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose advances for developing our understandings of valuable resources in small family firms. The focus is on group support behavior within firms. It is proposed that this behavior is unique and valuable within small family firms. Propositions are presented that are built upon previous work in psychology and family business research and is linked to the concept of familiness.

Design/methodology/approach

Two small family businesses are the two cases used to investigate the propositions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the owner/manager and several other staff within each firm.

Findings

The paper presents evidence for the propositions, showing that work group support is unique in family firms as it is based on factors beyond the workplace. These relationships have the potential to be strong, contributing positively to the firm’s competitive advantage.

Research limitations/implications

Two in-depth case studies of firms are included in this investigation. They are in a similar industry and location. As the findings are similar it lends weight to the evidence for the propositions; however, care should be taken with generalizing to other firms in other industries.

Originality/value

This research pulls together previous evidence and understandings and applies them to a specific aspect of small family firms that has not previously been examined in depth. The increased understanding can help family firms leverage their unique competitive advantage.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

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