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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel


CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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2191-0278
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Using the Internet to access health-related information: results from a nationally representative sample of New Zealand secondary school students

Jennifer Utter
  • Corresponding author
  • School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, 1142 Auckland, New Zealand
  • Email
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/ Mathijs Lucassen
  • Open University, Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Simon Denny
  • University of Auckland, Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health, Private Bag 92019 Auckland, New Zealand
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Terry Fleming
  • University of Auckland, Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health, Private Bag 92019 Auckland, New Zealand
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Roshini Peiris-John / Terryann Clark
Published Online: 2017-11-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0096

Abstract

Objective

To determine if secondary school students in New Zealand who report greater health concerns (e.g. significant depressive symptoms) are more likely to use the Internet to access health-related information.

Methods

A nationally representative health and wellbeing survey was undertaken in 2012 (n = 8500). Multiple regression models were used to examine the associations between students’ use of the Internet to access health-related information and selected outcomes or indicators.

Results

Over 90% of students used the Internet on a daily basis, with 15.4% of students reporting that they had used the Internet to access health-related information. Students experiencing household poverty were more likely to report not using the Internet daily (17.4% compared to 4.2%). Odds ratios (ORs) for accessing the Internet for this sort of information were highest for students who reported self-harm [OR 2.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3–3.3], disordered eating (OR 2.7, 95% CI 2.4–3.2), or a suicide attempt (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.9–3.3).

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that Internet-based health interventions may be a viable way to reach young people with high health needs, but consideration needs to be given to those with limited Internet access.

Keywords: adolescent; health risk behavior; Internet; mental health

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About the article

Received: 2017-05-31

Accepted: 2017-06-29

Published Online: 2017-11-23


Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170096, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0096.

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