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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The entire project was financially supported by Israel Science Foundation, under Grant [376/14]. The authors thank Mrs. Donna Bossin for proofreading the article.
© 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- Ethnic differences
- health behavior change
- health information
- social media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)