Date of Degree

6-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Nursing Studies

Advisor(s)

Margaret Lunney

Subject Categories

Databases and Information Systems | Nursing | Psychology

Keywords

Burn Survivors, Neuman, Phenomenology, Social media, Young Adults

Abstract

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to illuminate the meaning of social media use by young adult burn survivors. Five females and four males, aged 20-25, who sustained burns > 25%, were interviewed. Van Manen's (1999) phenomenological methodology provided the framework for this study. The meaning of the context of the lived experience is described in the five essential themes of identity, connectivity, social support, making meaning, and privacy. These young adult burn survivors, having experienced the traumatic effects of a burn during adolescence, use social media as a way of expressing their identity, while being cautious about privacy. Part of that process involves connecting others to enable a flow of social support and information, which is motivating and encouraging. Social media facilitates an accessible exchange of information that helps young adult burn survivors make meaning out of the traumatic event. The Neuman Systems Model was found to support the findings of this study.

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