142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Using a Gender Analysis Framework to Explore the Role of Social Media in Health Education for Teens

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Candace Robertson-James, DrPH , Office of Urban Health Equity, Education and Research, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Social media is a daily part of teen life. Two-thirds (68%) of teens text every day and, half (51%) visit social networking sites daily.  However, social media usage is not gender neutral. Girls continue to be the heaviest users of social media sites, compared with teen boys. [1] Although the popularity and frequency of social media use among teens has increased; the use of social media to creatively facilitate the application of health knowledge is less common. Additionally, gaps exist in the understanding of the role of gender in social media based health promotion.  The Philadelphia Ujima Coalition for a Healthier Community employs a gender integrated health promotion intervention and social media reinforcement activities with high schools students. The purpose of this research was to use a gender analysis framework to assess understanding of the role of gender in using social media to promote and disseminate health information to teens. Methods: The gender analysis included youth recruited from Ujima’s partnership schools and social media internship program. A social media usability survey was implemented with 115 youth (13-18 years old) to assess sex/gender differences. Focus groups were conducted with 30 students to learn how social media can support learning and sharing of health information. Social media reinforcement activities and learning tools with 94 intervention participants were assessed. Results: While most (95%) teens commonly use social media there are distinct similarities and differences in how teen girls and boys perceive the role of social media in health. We identified differences in perceptions of health and recommendations for teen involvement in social media based health promotion and increased dialogued on social networking sites around the role of gender on health behaviors.  Conclusion:Gender analysis shaped the design we used to assess the role of social media and health promotion. Social media enable the facilitation of sharing of health information and resources between individuals, organizations, and communities. Lessons learned were identified to enhance assessment and inclusion of gender in youth health promotion programming that uses social media. This can result in more effective and tailored health programming to educate and promote better outcomes for teens

[1] Pew Internet and American Life Project. Teen and Social Media Use: Available at http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Teens-Social-Media-And-Privacy/Main-Report/Part-1.aspx Accessed on January 2, 2014

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify lessons learned and best practices for including gender in youth health promotion programming that uses social media. Describe the role of gender analysis in shaping social media based health promotion interventions. Describe the role of social media on enhancing networking and collaboration among coalition partners.

Keyword(s): Gender, Social Media

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project director and participated in all aspects of the research project of which I will present on. Additionally, I have participated in research focused on cultural competence; gender and race based health disparities, particularly those issues affecting women. I have also been involved in community participatory research initiatives promoting health in diverse and underserved communities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.