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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Unbroken Continuity: Emerging Adults Forge Continuing Bonds on Social Media Sites Created by Loved Ones Who Are Now Deceased
by Mc Bride, Patricia D., Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University, 2019, 173; 27670950
Abstract (Summary)

Emerging adults are increasingly turning to the Internet and social media to express their emotions, improve coping, integrate loss, and maintain bonds to their deceased loved ones and friends. Death of a loved one or good friend is a little understood phenomenon in this demographic who maintain ongoing attachment to their lost loved ones through the direct posting to the social network sites of the deceased. Quantitative findings reveal a directional shift away from traditional bereavement practices to those that include using posting to the Internet and specifically to the deceased’s social network sites as emerging adults process loss. Emerging adults report receiving some level of support post bereavement (p < 0.001) with most using social media to post about and forward information regarding their loss (p < 0.001). Participants reported that posting to the social network sites of the deceased fosters coping and processing of loss (p < 0.001). Posting also provides a place and space specific to the loss and fosters ongoing attachment and continuing bonds (p< 0.001) through direct communication to the deceased and with others who access the same social network sites. Five ongoing themes revealed that posting to social network sites of the deceased offers alternate places and spaces for emerging adults to grieve. Posting to social network sites fosters ongoing attachment. Posting facilitates coping and loss integration. Posting directly to the deceased forges continuing bonds and posting to the deceased through their self- created social network site offers a virtual community for the bereaved.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nelson, Annabelle L.
Commitee: Corley, Connie, Estrada, Carol, Balk, David L.
School: Fielding Graduate University
Department: School for Leadership Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Developmental biology, Web Studies, Behavioral psychology
Keywords: Bereavement, Emerging adult, Grief, Internet, Posting, Social media
Publication Number: 27670950
ISBN: 9781392725207
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