A Theoretically Based Analysis of Twitter Conversations about Trauma and Mental Health: Examining Responses to Storylines on the Television Show Queen Sugar

Diane B. Francis, Le Christa Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Entertainment programming in the United States has long addressed major public health issues. In the present study, we used a culture-centric approach to systematically investigate the role of television storylines in facilitating health-related conversations on social media. In particular, we examined Twitter conversations about sexual and police-involved trauma prompted by portrayals on the fictional television drama Queen Sugar. Guided by the culture-centric model of narratives in health promotion, we classified the tweets (N = 1,671) into four main thematic categories: identification, social proliferation, emotions, and intentions. The analysis also revealed several subthemes, including identification with characters and cultural elements, expressions of pain and joy, information seeking and sharing, and the need to address intergenerational trauma and promote intergenerational conversations. The data suggests that Twitter may provide a vehicle for engaging in difficult conversations. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the study for mental health communication with Black Americans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1112
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Communication
Volume37
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Black community on Twitter. This work would not be possible without them.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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