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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Let's map it out : the everyday health information seeking behaviours of LGBTQ youth in Prince George, BC Hawkins, Blake


Purpose: There is a growing body of literature concerning the health information seeking behaviours of LGBTQ youth. However, these studies typically involve just gay, bisexual, and lesbian sexual health. The purpose of this project is to better understand the everyday health information seeking behaviours of LGBTQ youth and where they prefer to visit to access health information. As most of the previous research has been completed in urban settings, this project was completed in a smaller Northern British Columbia city – Prince George, BC. Methods: This project included 11 LGBTQ youth who participated in five participatory mapping and focus group activities. In groups of two or three, the youth would begin by labeling a map of Prince George places they prefer, somewhat prefer and dislike to visit for health information. Afterwards, focus groups were completed to ask follow up questions about the youths’ health information seeking behaviours. Once the activities were completed the interviews were coded based on inductive themes, and analyzed with theories from everyday health information seeking behaviours and critical geographies of sexuality, emotion, and cyberspaces. Results: Six themes became apparent from the content analysis and review of the data: 1) Negative impressions; 2) Convenience; 3) Social costs; 4) Comfort; 5) Queer friendly spaces; 6) Quality of information. Conclusions: Based on the experiences shared by the participants, factors were identified that contribute to the everyday health information seeking behaviours or places LGBTQ youth prefer to visit for this information. These youth were well informed about their health, and wanted to find the best information for their health needs. Furthermore, the work demonstrated that there are connections made between different places or spaces and LGBTQ youth information behaviour.

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