Toward a Grounded Theory Study of Adolescent Grief Processing of the Death of a Peer: The Role of Social Media
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The research proposal presented in the following thesis outlines a study that will explore what conceptual frame of reference guides an understanding of the role of social media for adolescents grieving the unanticipated and traumatic death of a peer. The pilot study presented for future completion outlines a grounded theory methodology based approach. The main source of data will be provided through the publicly posted material on the social media pages of deceased adolescents. The coded data will focus on the expressions and impact of grief and healing shared through social media. The study findings will explore how the use of this new technology assists or hinders the mourning process through the expression of emotional and cognitive elements of current grief theory. It is anticipated that findings will assist individuals in contact with grieving adolescents – peers, parents and family members, caregivers, counsellors, pastors, teachers and others - to develop awareness of the grief state teens are in following a tragic loss in order to provide best care to meet their needs and to eventual healing.