Description: Extant literature has documented well that people seek health information via the internet as patients and consumers. Much less, however, is known about interaction and creation behaviors in the development of new online health information and knowledge. More specifically, generalizable sociodemographic data on who engages in this online health behavior via social media is lacking in the sociological literature. The term “social e-health” is introduced to emphasize the difference between seeking behaviors and interaction and creation behaviors. A 2010 dataset of a large nationally representative and randomly sampled telephone survey made freely available from the Pew Research Center is used to examine social e-health behavior according to respondents’ sociodemographics. The dependent variable of social e-health behavior is measured by 13 survey questions from the survey. Gender, race, ethnicity, age, education, and income are used as independent variables. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the odds of engagement in social e-health behavior based on the sociodemographic predictors. The social determinants of health and digital divide frameworks are used to help explain why socioeconomic variances exist in social e-health behavior. The findings of the current study suggest that predictable sociodemographic patterns along the dimensions of gender, race, age, education, and income exist for those who report engaging in social e-health behavior. This study is important because it underscores the fact that engagement in social e-health behavior is differentially distributed in the general U.S. population according to patterned sociodemographics.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Acadia, Spencer