We examine the effect of social capital on participant retention in online mental health community, and disentangle the effect of bridging and bonding social capital on participant retention in this paper. Specifically, we derive participant profile data and activity data for 15 years from a Chinese online mental health community and construct social networks based on reply relationship for every half year. Following prior studies, bridging social capital and bonding social capital are measured by structural holes and network closure respectively. We conduct survival analysis to examine whether social capital has effect on participant retention, and use panel Logit model to capture the efficacy of different types of social capital. Results show that social capital significantly improves participant retention rate; bridging social capital has positive effect on participant retention, whereas bonding social capital has negative effect on participant retention.
Wan, Fei; Deng, Shasha; and Wang, Ziyang, "Social Capital and Participant Retention in Online Mental Health Community: Quantifying the Relative Effect of Bridging and Bonding Social Capital" (2019). PACIS 2019 Proceedings. 93.