Identifying sequences of advice-giving in online military discussion forums
Advice can be beneficial yet risky, particularly when offering suggestions in sensitive and unique situations. Applying the integrated model of advice-giving as a guiding framework, we examined 916 supportive messages exchanged on 12 web-based military discussion forums to investigate the link between the characteristics of support-seeking requests and the types of support provided. Only 1% of replies displayed the theoretically preferable sequence of emotional support, analysis of the problem, then advice. Individuals who used sad language were less likely to receive advice only and more likely to receive emotional support upfront. Users who sought advice often encountered responses that contained only advice. Responses to individuals who discussed their troubles or requested only emotional support followed a slightly different pattern. We discuss implications for advice-givers/receivers and users of military online forums.
Advice, Computer-mediated communication, Emotional support, Interpersonal communication, Military families
McAninch, Kelly G., Erin C. Wehrman, and Bryan Abendschein. "Identifying sequences of advice-giving in online military discussion forums." Communication Quarterly 66, no. 5 (2018): 557-575.