Expanding the social cure: A mixed-methods approach exploring the role of online group dance as support for young people (aged 16-24) living with anxiety

Saoirse Finn, Laura H.V. Wright, Hei Wan Mak, Emili Astrom, Lucy Nicholls, Genevieve A. Dingle, Katey Warran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is an increased interest in whether online arts interventions support mental health and social connections. This study explored eight weeks of online group dance as support for young people (aged 16-24) living with anxiety. The applicability of the ‘social cure’ theoretical framework to the novel context of an online dance class was sought. The study utilised an embedded QUAL+quan design, incorporating participatory focus group discussions (n=3 groups; n=11 participants) and one-on-one interviews (n=2 participants), creative reflections (n=16 participants) and ethnographic fieldnotes, and a repeated measures design with surveys at three timepoints (week 1, n=27; week 4, n=18; week 8, n=14). Thematic analysis identified two overarching themes demonstrating how the dance classes i) provided the opportunity to co-construct a meaningful shared identity and ii) supported holistic wellbeing. This was supported by the quantitative findings suggesting lower anxiety, depression, and loneliness, and higher group bonding, self-esteem, and self-efficacy over time. This study expands the social cure to its application to an online dance class for the first time.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • social cure
  • online
  • group dance
  • mental health
  • young people
  • loneliness
  • virtual

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