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Using Social Media to Explore Mental Health-Related Behaviors and Discussions among Young Adults

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Title:Using Social Media to Explore Mental Health-Related Behaviors and Discussions among Young Adults
Authors:Shahbazi, Moloud
Garett, Renee
Hristidis, Vagelis
Young, Sean
Keywords:Social Media and Healthcare Technology
Information Technology in Healthcare
Adolescent Mental Health
Mental Health
show 2 moreSocial Media
Social Networking
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Date Issued:08 Jan 2019
Abstract:There have been recurring reports of online harassment and abuse among adolescents and young adults through Anonymous Social Networking websites (ASNs). We explored discussions related to social and mental health behaviors among college students, including cyberbullying on the popular ASN, Yik Yak. From April 6, 2016, to May 7, 2016, we collected anonymous conversations posted on Yik Yak at 19 universities in four different states. We found that prosocial messages were approximately five times as prevalent as bullying messages. Frequency of cyberbullying messages was positively associated with messages seeking emotional help. We found significant geographic variation in the frequency of messages offering supportive versus bullying messages. Across campuses bullying and political discussion were positively associated. Results suggest that ASN sites can be mined for real-time data about students’ mental health-related attitudes and behaviors. We discuss the implications for using this information in education and healthcare services.
Pages/Duration:7 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Social Media and Healthcare Technology

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