For same-sex attracted youth (SSAY), the Internet affords a unique combination of opportunity, risk, and benefit. The present study provides a narrative analysis of four diverse SSAY’s experiences (ages 18-20 years), selected from a larger sample (N = 32) to highlight variation in (a) frequency of Internet use (extensive, incidental) and (b) impact of Internet use (pivotal, missed opportunity) during identity development. Presenting narratives individually, we depict how variations in frequency and impact of Internet use interact with the content, tone, and overall form of these youths’ identity development narratives. We also explore the individual and contextual factors (e.g., family relationships, peer norms) and characteristics of the Internet (e.g., increased anonymity) that appear to relate to these SSAY’s Internet use.
- identity development
- life course
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science