The current study investigates people's use of social networking sites for health purposes and its impact on their perception of social support and their health self-efficacy. A structural model was fitted to test hypothesized relationships between having a health concern, seeking online health information, seeking health-related social support on Facebook, perceived social support from Facebook friends, and health-related self-efficacy. The study also looks at the relative significance of social support dimensions including: emotional, informational, tangible, and esteem dimensions. An analysis of 291 respondents revealed a positive relationship between having health concerns and seeking health-related social support. Seeking support was significantly associated with all four social support dimensions. Among the four support dimensions, emotional support was the only significant predictor of health self-efficacy. Also, emotional support was the dimension that was most prevalent in Facebook contexts. Health information seeking was also positively associated with health self-efficacy but was not significantly related to having a health concern.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Human-Computer Interaction