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Article

Online Attitudes and Information-Seeking Behavior on Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Greta Thunberg

1
Faculty of Health and Welfare, Østfold University College, 1671 Kråkerøy, Norway
2
Faculty of Education, Østfold University College, 1757 Halden, Norway
3
Norwegian Centre for E-Health Research, 9038 Tromsø, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lei-Shih Chen and Shixi Zhao
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4981; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094981
Received: 12 April 2021 / Revised: 2 May 2021 / Accepted: 5 May 2021 / Published: 7 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders)
The purpose of this study was to examine Internet trends data and sentiment in tweets mentioning autism, Asperger syndrome, and Greta Thunberg during 2019. We used mixed methods in analyzing sentiment and attitudes in viral tweets and collected 1074 viral tweets on autism that were published in 2019 (tweets that got more than 100 likes). The sample from Twitter was compared with search patterns on Google. In 2019, Asperger syndrome was closely connected to Greta Thunberg, as of the tweets specifically mentioning Asperger (from the total sample of viral tweets mentioning autism), 83% also mentioned Thunberg. In the sample of tweets about Thunberg, the positive sentiment expressed that Greta Thunberg was a role model, whereas the tweets that expressed the most negativity used her diagnosis against her and could be considered as cyberbullying. The Google Trends data also showed that Thunberg was closely connected to search patterns on Asperger syndrome in 2019. The study showed that being open about health information while being an active participant in controversial debates might be used against you but also help break stigmas and stereotypes. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorders; Asperger syndrome; social media; Twitter messaging; Google Trends; public health; sentiment analysis; content analysis autism spectrum disorders; Asperger syndrome; social media; Twitter messaging; Google Trends; public health; sentiment analysis; content analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Skafle, I.; Gabarron, E.; Dechsling, A.; Nordahl-Hansen, A. Online Attitudes and Information-Seeking Behavior on Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Greta Thunberg. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4981. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094981

AMA Style

Skafle I, Gabarron E, Dechsling A, Nordahl-Hansen A. Online Attitudes and Information-Seeking Behavior on Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Greta Thunberg. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(9):4981. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094981

Chicago/Turabian Style

Skafle, Ingjerd; Gabarron, Elia; Dechsling, Anders; Nordahl-Hansen, Anders. 2021. "Online Attitudes and Information-Seeking Behavior on Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Greta Thunberg" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 9: 4981. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094981

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