Parents’ WhatsApp Coping Resources in the Context of Ongoing Political Conflicts: An Ecological Exploration (79182)

Session Information:

Monday, 25 March 2024 15:00
Session: Poster Session 1
Room: Orion Hall (5F)
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Mobile technologies have become significant resources for crisis communication and social support in recent years. However, despite empirical evidence pointing to the centrality of these technologies for parenthood in everyday life, it is yet unknown how parents’ coping resources play a role in the digital environment. In this study, we examined how parents cope with prolonged political violence online, based on Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory and the three levels of coping it encompasses: personal, family, and community. We employed a photo-elicitation technique during in-depth interviews with 21 parents residing in communities near the Israel-Gaza border, to identify digital coping strategies in WhatsApp groups. These strategies were related to the process of parental digital coping in the context of ongoing political violence. Theoretically, our findings contribute to expanding the core concepts of coping theories, traditionally studied in offline environments, to the digital realm. Empirically, our analysis revealed that participants developed digital coping methods at two ecological levels: personal and community. At the personal level, our participants used local WhatsApp parent groups (WPGs) to manage stress by exchanging emotional and instrumental support and venting emotions. At the community level, our participants indicated that local WPGs could help address emergencies collectively through the provision of instrumental support, emotional support, relief through humor, and as a platform for venting. Our study, by identifying how they use local digital settings, indicates the ways residents can potentially increase their personal and community resilience.

Orna Braun-Lewensohn, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Daphna Yeshua-Katz, Ben-Gurion Unviersity of the Negev, Israel
Stav Shapira, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

About the Presenter(s)
Orna Braun-Lewensohn is a Full Professor and serves as Dean of the Kreitman School for Advanced Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her research interests include mental health outcomes and coping during or following stressful events.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00