Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Grief is a reaction to loss and will be experienced to some degree by everyone in his or her life. For most, this is a brief process lasting a few weeks or months, after which they regain their focus and return to their normal lives. For a percentage of the population, however, it is more difficult to return to normal life functions. The grieving process can further diminish low social support and social support networks. However, generally providing the opportunity to talk about their feelings is sufficient to help most work through their grief without therapy (Burke, Eakes, and Hainsworth, 1999; Neimeyer, 2008). The purpose of this research was to determine if individuals preferring online to face-to-face grief support groups come from different populations. Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire to measure aspects of social support unavailability, avoidant personality traits, Asperger’s syndrome traits, introversion traits, loneliness, and computer self-efficacy. A religiosity scale also was included as a control measure. Participants were given four hypothetical scenarios concerning loss and asked if they would prefer online to face-to-face support if they were in that situation. It was expected that individuals with higher scores on the six scales other than religiosity would be more likely to prefer online self-help. The results did not support this expectation. None of the full scales were found to have a significant correlation with preference for type of support group.


Dr. Stephen Kitzis

Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type



© 2011 Kris S. Fox


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