What young people want from health-related online resources: a focus group study


Fergie G, Hunt K & Hilton S (2013) What young people want from health-related online resources: a focus group study. Journal of Youth Studies, 16 (5), pp. 579-596.

The growth of the Internet as an information source about health, particularly amongst young people, is well established. The aim of this study was to explore young people's perceptions and experiences of engaging with health-related online content, particularly through social media websites. Between February and July 2011 nine focus groups were facilitated across Scotland with young people aged between 14 and 18 years. Health-related user-generated content seems to be appreciated by young people as a useful, if not always trustworthy, source of accounts of other people's experiences. The reliability and quality of both user-generated content and official factual content about health appear to be concerns for young people, and they employ specialised strategies for negotiating both areas of the online environment. Young people's engagement with health online is a dynamic area for research. Their perceptions and experiences of health-related content seem based on their wider familiarity with the online environment and, as the online environment develops, so too do young people's strategies and conventions for accessing it. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Journal of Youth Studies: Volume 16, Issue 5

Publication date31/12/2013