Start Date

8-5-2020 12:00 AM

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Social Work

Advisor

Donna Wampole, PhD

Keywords

LGBTQ, social media, social networking sites, disabled, chronic illness, social support, identity construction, young adults, emerging adulthood

Abstract

There is a lack of research about the lived experiences of self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and otherwise-identified (LGBTQ+) young adults with disabilities who use the Internet to achieve particular social aims. Using open-ended survey questions, the researcher applied multidimensional and overlapping frameworks of intersectionality, feminist-disability theory, and social work to answer the following: What are the experiences of LGBTQ+ adults with disabilities who use the Internet, and more specifically social media, for online social support and identity construction? Using secondary data, fifteen (N=15) cases of LGBTQ+ disabled young adults aged 18 to 31 living in the United States were selected, and data was analyzed using a phenomenological content analysis. The research revealed salient themes, such as relationship-building, access to community, social support, identity formation, knowledge acquisition, expanded worldview, and protective mental health factors, each of which respectively facilitated or complicated participants’ motives to use social media platforms. Implications of the research findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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May 8th, 12:00 AM

Navigating LGBTQ+ and Disabled Intersections Online: Social Support and Identity Construction in the Age of Social Media

There is a lack of research about the lived experiences of self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and otherwise-identified (LGBTQ+) young adults with disabilities who use the Internet to achieve particular social aims. Using open-ended survey questions, the researcher applied multidimensional and overlapping frameworks of intersectionality, feminist-disability theory, and social work to answer the following: What are the experiences of LGBTQ+ adults with disabilities who use the Internet, and more specifically social media, for online social support and identity construction? Using secondary data, fifteen (N=15) cases of LGBTQ+ disabled young adults aged 18 to 31 living in the United States were selected, and data was analyzed using a phenomenological content analysis. The research revealed salient themes, such as relationship-building, access to community, social support, identity formation, knowledge acquisition, expanded worldview, and protective mental health factors, each of which respectively facilitated or complicated participants’ motives to use social media platforms. Implications of the research findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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