A grounded theory of female adolescent behaviour in the sun: comfort matters

Authors: Norton, E.A.

Conference: 15th Qualitative Health Research (QHR) Conference

Dates: 4-6 October 2009


Source: Manual

Preferred by: Liz Norton

A grounded theory of female adolescent behaviour in the sun: comfort matters.

Authors: Norton, E.A.

Conference: Bournemouth University


The aim of the research was to generate a grounded theory to explain the behaviour of young women in the sun. The study sought to explore the sun-related experiences of young women in order to gain new insights into the influences upon them. The study was qualitative by design and utilised grounded theory method as developed by Glaser.

Twenty female participants, aged 14 to 17 years old were included in the study. They formed six groups. Thirteen interviews were carried out with the groups and six one-to one interviews took place with individuals. All interviews were semi-structured and were based upon the participants' experiences of being in the sun. Data was analysed using the constant comparative method of data analysis, concordant with Glaserian grounded theory method. Five explanatory categories emerged from the data; Fitting In, Being Myself, Being Physically Comfortable, Slipping Up and a core category of Being Comfortable. One of the issues that emerged was that some young women believed their social acceptance depended on their appearance and they conformed to this end. The theory, derived from the categories, proposes that when in the sun, young women direct their activities toward meeting physical and psychosocial comfort needs. Comfort matters to them because it has implications for their wellbeing. This thesis contributes to the literature about the behaviours of young women in the sun.

By increasing understanding of the factors that influence them, it also adds to the body of knowledge related to the primary prevention of skin cancer with teenage girls in the United Kingdom. The outcome of the research and its contribution to knowledge is a grounded theory, which explains the basis of the behaviours of young women in the sun. It appears that no other study has explored the experiences of UK adolescent females specifically, in a qualitative way and with the intention of producing a theory to explain them.


Source: BURO EPrints