Group differences in the search of health information were investigated, to test the diversification hypothesis that argues that disadvantaged groups in society will be more likely to use the Internet and computer mediated communication to access health information to compensate for their lack of social capital. Data were gathered from a sample of Internet users representative of the percentage of minorities in the general population in Israel (. n = 1371). The results provide partial support for the hypothesis, indicating that in multicultural societies disadvantaged groups show greater motivation to use the Internet to access medical information than the majority group. We interpreted our findings as suggesting that minority groups that do not have access to specialized networks use the Internet to overcome their lack of access to specialized information. Implications of the finding are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the reviewers for their comments. The research project was funded with a grant from Maccabi Health Services (2010) to the three authors.
- Health communication
- Health inequalities
- Online health information
- Social diversification hypothesis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- History and Philosophy of Science