Online Social Support for Parents: A Critical Review

Jennifer L. Doty, Jodi Dworkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


This review critically examines 19 international articles addressing online social support for parents and provides evidence that parents around the world perceive emotional and informational support online. These studies highlight the benefits of the online environment to parents, including convenience and anonymity, although some drawbacks were also noted such as a lack of credibility. Social support theories have been extended to the online environment; however, the understanding of parents' online social network structure is limited. Social support implies a positive effect on well-being, and future studies are needed to further explore this. Overall, social capital theory and stress and coping perspectives hold promise for future studies to extend descriptive work. Although representative samples and sound measurement are needed, the articles in this review lay a descriptive foundation to further study this topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-198
Number of pages25
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • internet
  • online
  • parents
  • social support


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