Online social networks, social capital and health-related behaviors: a state-of-the-art analysis

Durst, Carolin, Viol, Janine and Wickramasinghe, Nilmini 2013, Online social networks, social capital and health-related behaviors: a state-of-the-art analysis, Communications of the association for information systems, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 134-158.

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Title Online social networks, social capital and health-related behaviors: a state-of-the-art analysis
Author(s) Durst, Carolin
Viol, Janine
Wickramasinghe, NilminiORCID iD for Wickramasinghe, Nilmini
Journal name Communications of the association for information systems
Volume number 32
Issue number 1
Article ID 5
Start page 134
End page 158
Total pages 25
Publisher Association for Information Systems
Place of publication Atlanta, Ga.
Publication date 2013-05
ISSN 1529-3181
Keyword(s) conceptual model
social capital
online social networks
social determinants of health
social network analysis
Summary The percentage of obese individuals in the population has increased exponentially over the last decade, making obesity a phenomenon of significant global concern. Individual behaviors, preferences and lifestyle choices are subject to social and environmental influences and social networks have been identified as a key contributor to the global obesity epidemic. Numerous empirical studies have found a relationship between dimensions of social capital, well-being and population health. It is the thesis of this article that social capital in online social networks might be similarly associated. Addressing previously identified gaps in the literature, our conceptual model enables the analysis of the relationships between the structure and content of an individual's online social network, the resulting opportunities and limitations to accessing resources and his or her health-related behaviors and body weight is introduced. Moreover, the model incorporates potential social capital as a special type of social capital in online social networks and uses network-based measures instead of self-reported data. Additionally, literature-based hypotheses discussing the relationships between the constructs of the model are presented. Establishing profound theoretical groundwork, this article encourages future research crossing the boundaries between information systems, health informatics and sociology. This study concludes by proposing a new Facebook e-health application to collect longitudinal data using the aforementioned conceptual model in order to explore the presented ideas further.
Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
0806 Information Systems
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Association for Information Systems
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Faculty of Health
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