This study explored the experiences of adult women who engaged in science fiction fandom activities through online social media, and how these experiences have impacted their psychological well-being. A qualitative phenomenological approach was used, and 12 participants from five countries ranging in age from 19–54 took part in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Results showed that women who engaged in science fiction fandom activity through social media were drawn to those communities due to the nonjudgmental nature of fandom culture and the relationships that they formed. Additionally, all participants felt their involvement positively affected their psychological well-being, and actively used it as an emotional coping skill. Negative effects from fandom participation were also shared, which included in-fighting between fans, trolling, and societal stigma both for being fans of science fiction and for being fans who are women.
|Advisor:||Van Asselt, Kathryn Watkins|
|Commitee:||Willis, Bradley, Foster, Vicki A.|
|Department:||School of Counseling and Human Services|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Social psychology, Web Studies, Behavioral psychology|
|Keywords:||Fandom, Mental health, Psychological well-being, Science fiction, Social media, Women|
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