The experiences of United Kingdom (UK) very tall and extremely tall young adults in relation to managing everyday occupations and well-being

  • Julie Booth

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Aim: The overall aim of the study has been to gain the experiences of managing everyday occupations and well-being of young United Kingdom (UK) adults who have a very tall and extremely tall stature.

    Background: Tall stature in Western society is generally perceived to be connected to power, authority and success in work and social environments, with previous quantitative research reinforcing this positive stereotypical societal view. However, surveys relating to satisfaction with body height, indicate that those on the highest percentiles, shown some concern in relation to fitting into everyday life. Exploration into the lives of tall people is lacking from a qualitative perspective, with existing published research from America focusing on social dynamics of young female tall college students. The present phenomenological study is innovative, offering a unique consideration of how UK young very tall and extremely tall adults, both male and female, manage their everyday occupations and well-being.

    Methodology and methods: An interpretive phenomenological analysis approach was adopted to gain and analyse deep rich data from a purposive sample, in order to address the qualitative research enquiry. Fourteen participants engaged in an individual interview over two phases of the study.

    Findings: Five super-ordinate themes were uncovered in each phase of the study addressing the phenomenon of tallness in everyday life. Living in a world designed for the average height person required compromise of posture and adaptation within occupations, to enable the participants to engage in their social and physical environments. Tallness and stereotypical societal expectations surrounding tall stature, influenced occupational choice, which in turn informed identity. Strategies uncovered for managing everyday life and to assist with acceptance of diversity of height, included playing to the strengths of tallness, and the support of the Tall Zone. The study participants experienced a mixture of positive and challenging experiences, which in turn influenced physical, social, psychological and financial well-being.
    Date of AwardAug 2021
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorMike Price (Supervisor), Sheila Leddington-Wright (Supervisor), Tanya Rihtman (Supervisor) & Clare Taylor (Supervisor)

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