Ethnic Differences in Health Information Seeking Behavior: A Test and the Extension of the Social Diversification Hypothesis

Dennis Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined ethnic differences in health information seeking behavior in Israel through the lens of the social diversification hypothesis, while viewing the ethnic minority population as a heterogeneous group in accordance with the size of the localities they reside in. The study contended that Arabs residing in small localities have a limited access to advanced health services and health information. Therefore, they were assumed to be more likely than other ethnic groups to engage in health information seeking behavior. The data for the study was retrieved from the 2017 Israel Social Survey. Using the logistic and the multinomial regression analyses, the study found that Arabs residing in small localities were more likely than other ethnic groups to search for information on three (as opposed to a lower number) of the health-related topics studied (diseases, disease prevention, and rights in the health system) and specifically—for information on disease prevention, thus supporting the extended social diversification hypothesis. However, they were found being less likely than other ethnic groups to engage in health information seeking in general and online, and to seek the information regarding the rights in health system in particular. These results justify the view of ethnic minorities residing in localities of various sizes as unequally disadvantaged in terms of healthcare and signal a major need to improve the provision of health information to members of ethnic minorities who reside in small localities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-132
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Consumer Health on the Internet
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ethnic differences
  • health information seeking
  • locality size
  • social diversification
  • social stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)

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