Effect of mood, social connectivity and age in online depression community via topic and linguistic analysis

Bo Dao, Thin Nguyen, Dinh Phung, Svetha Venkatesh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Depression afflicts one in four people during their lives. Several studies have shown that for the isolated and mentally ill, the Web and social media provide effective platforms for supports and treatments as well as to acquire scientific, clinical understanding of this mental condition. More and more individuals affected by depression join online communities to seek for information, express themselves, share their concerns and look for supports [12]. For the first time, we collect and study a large online depression community of more than 12,000 active members from Live Journal. We examine the effect of mood, social connectivity and age on the online messages authored by members in an online depression community. The posts are considered in two aspects: what is written (topic) and how it is written (language style). We use statistical and machine learning methods to discriminate the posts made by bloggers in low versus high valence mood, in different age categories and in different degrees of social connectivity. Using statistical tests, language styles are found to be significantly different between low and high valence cohorts, whilst topics are significantly different between people whose different degrees of social connectivity. High performance is achieved for low versus high valence post classification using writing style as features. The finding suggests the potential of using social media in depression screening, especially in online setting.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWeb Information Systems Engineering – WISE 2014
Subtitle of host publication15th International Conference Thessaloniki, Greece, October 12-14, 2014 Proceedings, Part I
EditorsBoualem Benatallah, Azer Bestavros, Yannis Manolopoulos, Athena Vakali, Yanchun Zhang
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783319117492
ISBN (Print)9783319117485
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering 2014 - Thessaloniki , Greece
Duration: 12 Oct 201414 Oct 2014
Conference number: 15th
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-11749-2 (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


ConferenceInternational Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering 2014
Abbreviated titleWISE 2014
Internet address


  • Depression communities
  • Linguistic
  • Mental health
  • Weblog

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