NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1067828
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1932-5037
How College Students Search the Internet for Weight Control and Weight Management Information: An Observational Study
Senkowski, Valerie; Branscum, Paul
American Journal of Health Education, v46 n4 p231-240 2015
Background: Few studies have attempted to examine how young adults search for health information on the Internet, especially information related to weight control and weight management. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine search strategies that college students used for finding information related to weight control and weight management on the Internet. Methods: A sample of undergraduate students (n = 30) were given 11 scenarios related to weight control and weight management and used the Internet to find solutions. Observations were recorded using video and audio software (Camtasia). Results: Participants used search engines for 97% of searches, and all participants but one used Google. Success rates varied from 96.4% to 57.1%. Transcripts from the audio recordings taken during the search revealed 4 themes: (1) Google is efficient; (2) perceptions about common sense information; (3) determinants of website credibility; and (4) difficulties finding and interpreting information. Discussion: Google was oftentimes exclusively accessed and relied upon to help users craft relevant search terms and correct misspellings. Users are also oftentimes confused about what dictates "credible" information. Translation to Health Education Practice: Health educators can use information from this study to develop interventions targeting health and computer literacy.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oklahoma
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A