Blogging May Be Therapeutic for Teens

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 2 (UPI) — A U.S. professor of social work suggests blogging could be used to help troubled teens.

Dawn Anderson-Butcher of Ohio State University in Columbus says therapists could use blogs and texting as a tool to build relationships and keep in touch with teens.

Anderson-Butcher said teens use blogs in much the same way teens used phones in the past — to nurture relationships with other teens and build a sense of community.

The researchers examined blog posts on the public Web site Xanga for a month in 2007 to determine what teens blogged about. The study found teens seldom talked about risky behaviors — such as skipping school or abusing drugs.

The study, published in the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, reports most teens blog about positive subjects such as family and school activities.

“We looked at every quote and the kids wrote about very few problem behaviors,” Anderson-Butcher says in a statement. “It was very exciting — and for me, positive — to see the typical developmental activities — video games, television, homework, lessons, Internet — that they were writing about in their blogs.”

Anderson-Butcher noted the study cannot be replicated because many teens now “micro-blog” on Facebook.

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