This review of literature from multiple disciplines argues that the Internet is useful both in communicating support, and in the rapid reestablishment of socially supportive peer networks, when an individual's support needs change following a transition. We extend prior typologies of transition by identifying common features and outcomes of transition. We subsequently describe how transition involves a loss of social support networks and social capital, leading to increased stress and decreased wellbeing. Finally, we examine the features of computer mediated social support, and how those align with support needs following a transition. This paper provides a theoretical underpinning and a common language for the study of transition and its associated stress. The paper also suggests that computer-mediated social support may in some instances be superior to available face-to-face support options for managing the transitional factors affecting stress.
- Computer mediated communication
- Internet mediated social support
- Social capital
- Social support