Tel Aviv, Jan 5 : Blogging could relieve teenagers from social anxiety, improve their self-esteem and help them relate better to their friends, says a study.

Maintaining a blog has a stronger positive outcome on troubled students' well-being than merely expressing their social anxieties and concerns in private diaries.

"Research has shown that writing... (is) a great way to release emotional distress and just feel better," said researcher Meyran Boniel-Nissim, University of Haifa, Israel, who led the study.

"Teens are online anyway, so blogging enables free expression and easy communication with others," added Bonie-Nissim, the journal Psychological Services reported.

"Although cyberbullying and online abuse are extensive and broad, we noted that almost all responses to our participants' blog messages were supportive and positive in nature," said study co-author Azy Barak, according to a university statement.

Researchers randomly surveyed 161 high school students in Israel, 124 girls and 37 boys, with an average age of 15, because they had some level of social anxiety or distress.

Self-esteem, social anxiety, emotional distress and the number of positive social behaviours improved significantly for the bloggers when compared to teens who did nothing and wrote private diaries.

Bloggers who were instructed to write specifically about their difficulties and whose blogs were open to comments improved the most. All of these results were consistent at the two month follow-up.

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