When It Comes to Health, Teens Still Ask Mom and Dad First

child searching internet

In the age of technology and the Internet, a lot of things have changed. Instead of doing research at a library, almost everyone turns to Google. This means a lot more misinformation is found as well, since it is simple to publish something to the Internet without fact checking.


Study Shows Teens Make Life Changes Based on Internet Information

A recent study completed by researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois found that over half of the teens surveyed still received a significant amount of health information from asking their parents.

child searching internetThe study completed a survey of 1,156 teenagers from age 13 to age 18. Of those teens, 55-percent said they were turning to their parents when they had concerns about health.

Teenagers also were using the Internet responsibly when they did choose to search for information regarding puberty, drugs, sex and depression, among other issues. For those teens who were searching the Internet, 32-percent found information that made them actively change the way they were living.

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Teens Not Likely to Share Health Concerns on Social Media

The study also found a surprising statistic: almost 9 of every 10 teens surveyed said they would not share health concerns they had with friends via their social media platforms. Approximately two of every 10 teens had instead opted to download health-related apps.

One other positive is that teenagers were aware of the importance of using reliable sites to find their information: one-third of the teens reported finding medical information only from reputable medical websites. Somewhat disappointingly though, the next common site for medical information gathering was YouTube. There are, however, a growing number of reliable sources for information on YouTube as well.

With a generation that expects instant results and sometimes seems to complete disregard the older generations when it comes to gaining insight or providing any type of guidance, it is nice to see a study where teenagers reported trusting their parents when it comes to matters concerning health.

It is also reassuring to see that those who found information on the Internet took warning signs seriously and chose to make changes to their lifestyle if there were potential consequences to their health. It is good to know that teenagers do retain the ability to make intelligent decisions and trust the important information and advice to their parents – when it counts, it is good to know they will go to reliable sources and people who can help them to make the best choices.

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