Exploring the Potential of Social Media Platforms as Data Collection Methods for Accessing and Understanding Experiences of Youth with Disabilities: A Narrative Review

Meaghan Walker, Gillian Alison King, Laura R. Hartman

Abstract


Purpose: Social media (SM) is a critical component of youth culture, and may provide a useful platform for exploring young people’s authentic voices. This narrative review considers how researchers are exploring the experiences of youth with disabilities using SM.  

Methods: Five health and social science databases were searched using terms related to ‘social media’ and ‘data collection’. Articles were reviewed for relevancy. Narrative analysis was undertaken.

Results: Searches returned 1524 results, of which 15 articles were included. SM-based data collection methods fell into three categories: 1) observational; 2) interactive; and 3) combined online/offline, each offering unique advantages to data collection. Literature suggests that SM can be used to effectively explore self-care, coping and social experiences of youth with health conditions, however youth with disabilities were notably absent from all three categories.

Conclusion: As a prominent component of youth culture, researchers have turned to SM-based data collection methods to understand youths’ real-world experiences. It is imperative, however, that the voices of youth with varied abilities and backgrounds be included in the conversation. 


Keywords


Social Media, data collection, youth, social engagement

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References


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Based at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, USA, The Journal of Social Media in Society is sponsored by the Colleges of Liberal and Fine Arts, Education, Business Administration, and Graduate Studies.