'Am I normal?' Teenagers, sexual health and the internet.

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dc.contributor.author Brown, Brian J.
dc.contributor.author Crawford, Paul
dc.contributor.author Harvey, K. J.
dc.contributor.author Macfarlane, A.
dc.contributor.author McPherson, Ann
dc.date.accessioned 2009-03-12T16:09:47Z
dc.date.available 2009-03-12T16:09:47Z
dc.date.issued 2007-08-01
dc.identifier.citation Harvey, K. J. et al. (2007) 'Am I normal?' Teenagers, sexual health and the internet. Social Science & Medicine, 65 (4), pp. 771-781. en
dc.identifier.issn 0277-9536
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2086/1262
dc.description.abstract The development of new communication technologies has created a wide variety of new fields in which human beings can construct identities. The past decade has seen a proliferation of opportunities to use the internet for health related advice and information and many new sites have been created where participants can construct identities, formulate problems and seek solutions concerning health related issues. This paper will report on a study of emails written in to a UK-based website concerned with health issues for young people. Our analysis was driven by corpus linguistics, a computational methodology for interrogating extensive datasets, and we have combined both quantitative and qualitative approaches to the study of language. We interrogated a 400,000 word dataset of messages and were able to identify terms whose usage was elevated compared to the English language as a whole. As well as personal pronouns, these included many terms related to sexual ! health and bodily development, as well as terms such as "normal" and "worried" which were identified for further exploration. Whereas previous research on sexual health has discovered the use of vague terms and euphemisms, here, young people described themselves, their anatomy and their identities in meticulous detail. This study enables us to define the role of health topics raised, the presentation of health concerns, and contributes towards the discovery of a distinctive ˜genre" of health messages concerning sexual health which differs from that found by other researchers concentrating on face to face encounters. In conclusion we suggest that for researchers and practitioners working in health with young people in the medium of English there could be valuable lessons in communication to be learned from examination of corpora of the health care language concerned.
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Elsevier en
dc.subject RAE 2008 en
dc.subject UoA 11 Nursing and Midwifery en
dc.subject adolescents
dc.subject internet
dc.subject electronic communication
dc.subject corpus linguistics
dc.subject sexual health
dc.title 'Am I normal?' Teenagers, sexual health and the internet. en
dc.type Article en
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.04.005
dc.researchgroup Participation & Social Justice
dc.researchgroup Psychology
dc.researchgroup Health Policy
dc.researchgroup Mary Seacole Research Centre
dc.researchgroup Health Policy Research Unit


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