The growth of online support groups has led to an expression effects paradigm within the health communication literature. Although religious support expression is characterized as a typical subdimension of emotional support, we argue that in the context of a life-threatening illness, the inclusion of a religious component creates a unique communication process. Using data from an online group for women with breast cancer, we test a theoretical expression effects model. Results demonstrate that for breast cancer patients, religious support expression has distinct effects from general emotional support messages, which highlights the need to further theorize expression effects along these lines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)