Why blogging is good for distressed teens

Blogging can be a beneficial exercise for teenagers suffering from social anxiety. This is according to new research published in the American Psychological Association's journal Psychological Services, which also found this form of online diary can help young people improve their self-esteem and enable them to relate to their friends in a more effective manner.

According to the investigation, stronger positive effects emerged for troubled students when authoring a blog as opposed to writing down their concerns in a private diary.

It was showed that this impact was intensified further when the blog is opened up to comments from the online community.

And while the risks of cyberbullying and online abuse remain, the authors found nearly all responses to posts were positive and supportive, with Azy Barak of the University of Haifa - which was established in 1963 - stating: "We weren't surprised, as we frequently see positive social expressions online in terms of generosity, support and advice."

Dr Mark Sergeant, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Research is increasingly finding that new digital technologies such as Facebook, Twitter and blogging allow a freedom of expression for socially anxious individuals."