The Role of Internet Poetry Groups in Establishing Community for Adolescents Experiencing Depression
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This project explores the existing research about community building for adolescents through the use of online poetry groups. I look at the interactions between poetry and community building, then at the role of the internet in building a sense of community, and finally at the ways in which having a valued membership in community benefits adolescents with depression. I propose a study that will fill gaps in the literature by assessing the ways in which shared poetry, specifically online poetry groups, can enhance one’s identity formation and community construction. The Internet’s influence has expanded into the ways young people are being socialized, educated, and connected (Chen & Lin, 2014). It is, therefore, easy to suspect that the Internet would alter the way in which young people interact with poetry. While individually-based poetry therapy can provide a new level of introspection into oneself, the emotional and revealing nature of poetry tends to increase feelings of connectedness among group members and accelerate identity achievement among individuals participating in poetry groups (Alvarez & Mearns, 2014). I hypothesize that the effects of poetry therapy and Internet groups will blend into a more useful strategy for building a strong sense of community than either of those methodologies individually.