Ethnicity and Perceived Influence of Social Media-Based Health Information on Health Decisions and Behaviors: A Test of the Social Diversification Hypothesis

Dennis Rosenberg, Rita Mano, Gustavo S. Mesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current study examined ethnic differences in the perceived influence of health information found on social media websites on health decisions and behaviors. These differences were examined through the lens of the social diversification hypothesis. The data were collected through a telephone survey. The sample included Israeli adult social media users who reported engaging in health information seeking on social media websites (n = 234). The results of the logistic regression analyses suggest that respondents from the Arab group were more likely than respondents from the Jewish group to report that health information on social media websites has persuaded them to stop or cut down on smoking, undertake medical tests, and purchase private health insurance. In addition, respondents from the Arab group were more likely than respondents from the Jewish group to report being influenced by health information on social media websites in multiple health domains. These findings provide extensive support for the social diversification hypothesis. They point to the need for increased investment in the provision of up-to-date and precise health information to members of disadvantaged population groups in a given society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Consumer Health on the Internet
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ethnic differences
  • health behavior change
  • health information
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)

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