Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

First Advisor

Dr. Andrea Weare


Through technological innovation and the rise of digital media platforms, many young adults are afforded the opportunity to spend their lives on the Internet. Not only is a large amount of time spent on the Internet by most people, but young adults are making media sharing-platforms, specifically YouTube, part of their daily lives (Westenberg, 2016, p. 8). YouTube allows content creators to produce videos that not only attract audiences of different ages and geographic location, but, too, create an intimate bond between creator and subscriber, allowing each party to communicate and engage in content related activities through the comments section (Westenberg, 2016, p. 9). This qualitative study examined the comments and experiences of subscribers of a gaming YouTuber with over one million subscribers: GameGrumps. Specifically, the study analyzed the meaning making processes of YouTube subscribers surrounding their relationship with GameGrumps who discloses his personal mental health challenges in YouTube gaming videos. Via in-depth interviews with four GameGrumps subscribers, this study sheds light on how subscribers disclose their own personal mental health experiences on a gaming YouTuber’s comments section in order to uncover subscriber intentions and outcomes for self-disclosure and how this may implicate the online relationship between gaming YouTuber and subscriber. Results show disclosing creates positive self-awareness, solidarity in experiences, and a stronger understanding and bond with a YouTube gamer.