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adolescent women, body image, feminist research, Gadamer, health messages, interpretive inquiry, popular teen, qualitative research, secrets, substantively driven research



  1. Chow, Jean D. RN, MN, PhD


In a study to examine adolescent perceptions of popular teen magazines, two focus groups of adolescent women met four or five times as groups and individually to discuss the health messages in the images and texts they chose from popular teen magazines. They noted that many of the messages in teen magazines are couched in terms of secrets. Interpretive inquiry created an understanding of certain facets of secrets and secrecy as they pertain to popular teen magazines and the adolescent women who read them. Secrets revealed themselves through their links with other secrets in the lifeworld. This interpretive work is an example of substantively driven research where the power of the topic takes the lead guiding the development of knowledge surrounding secrets.