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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Experiences of Emerging Adults Communicating Electronically
by Torgerson, Carrie, Ph.D., Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago), 2016, 180; 10750348
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study explored the experiences using nonverbal and non face-to-face electronic forms of communication in the lives of 20 emerging adults between the ages of 18 and 25. All participants used an electronic device, laptop, personal computer, tablet, or cellular phone with a minimum of text messaging capability to interact and communicate with people in their lives. Each participant was interviewed in-person following grounded theory methodology for semi-structured interviews and data analysis. Self psychology and developmental theories were used to interpret the four findings.

The first finding indicated the desire and need for a shared emotional experience that occurred face-to-face and was replicated electronically only when an in-person relationship had already been established. The absence of nonverbal modes of communication through electronic interactions lacked empathic connection and resonance for emerging adults. The second finding describes the collective social and cultural norms of electronic interactions and the resulting unintentional, uncharacteristic, and unempathic behaviors of participants. Communicating and posting positive aspects on life was the third finding as a compensatory strategy to disavow uncomfortable feelings and experiences. The final finding is the self-blame and experience of feeling unimportant in the attempt to make sense of delayed or no electronic response.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: DiLeonardi, Joan
School: Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago)
Department: Clinical Social Work
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Information Technology, Social psychology
Keywords: Emerging adults, Communicating electronically
Publication Number: 10750348
ISBN: 9798664745788
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