Theme 3.2 Health on social media

The emergence of social media has allowed people to become both active posters and passive recipients of communication and media related to health. For instance, people may post exercise goals and performance on social media, but may at the same time be exposed to friends drinking alcohol and/or indulging in unhealthy snacks. Although this topic is popular among communication scholars, a lot is still unknown as to why people have become active posters, what the effects are of exposure to health-related content on social media, and how (for instance) social network structures play a role in this. In this themes, students will use surveys or experimental designs to study these important and interesting research questions.

Further readings:

  • Cavallo, D. N., Tate, D. F., Ries, A. V., Brown, J. D., DeVellis, R. F., & Ammerman, A. S. (2012).
    A social media–based physical activity intervention: a randomized controlled trial.
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 43(5), 527-532.
  • De Viron, S., Suggs, L. S., Brand, A., & Van Oyen, H. (2013). Communicating genetics and
    smoking through social media: are we there yet? Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(9), e198.
  • Moreno, M. A., D’Angelo, J., & Whitehill, J. (2016). Social media and alcohol: Summary of research, intervention ideas and future study directions. Media and Communication, 4, 50-59.