SOURCE: ISIS; Ypulse; YouthNoise; Peanut Labs

October 21, 2008 10:00 ET

New Survey Points to Web as Opportunity for Delivering Youth-Friendly Health and Wellness Info

Youth Use Online Confessional Sites More Than Traditional Hotlines

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 21, 2008) - A new online study indicates that more than 50% of young people aged 13 to 24 are accessing health and wellness information on the Internet. Youth are also using confessional sites and posting anonymously on message boards to get personal advice more often than traditional support services such as phone hotlines.

The survey was a collaboration between Ypulse, ISIS, YouthNoise and Peanut Labs and was conducted nationally with 1600 young men and women. The survey was created to identify gaps and opportunities for delivering health info in order to inform businesses and organizations who advocate for young people's health and wellness.

Respondents were recruited from popular youth-oriented social networks by Peanut Labs. "We are happy to provide access to this difficult-to-reach audience to inform them of these important health issues," said Murtaza Hussain, president of Peanut Labs.

Of the respondents who said they use the Web for information about health and wellness, they most often cited WebMD (15.1%) as their source, seconded by search engines. Seventeen percent (17%) of the group visited online confessional sites or message boards to share something personal, 87% of whom reported positive experiences.

Respondents across all ages, genders and race/ethnicities consistently identified STDs/HIV and drugs/substance abuse as their top health concerns. Issues related to the internet, such as cyber-bullying were mentioned, but with far less frequency.

When asked to contribute suggestions for websites geared towards youth mental health and wellness, youth stressed the importance of marketing its availability widely. Safety and anonymity were also important, followed by ease of use. Responses suggest sites are most helpful when they include both accurate, accessible information and a community where users can interact and obtain personal support from both peers and professionals. An ideal site would, of course, also be fun and interactive.

"Youth have always gotten information about sensitive and personal health issues from their peers. What's changed today is that they're communicating with their peers online within their social networks," says Deb Levine, Executive Director of ISIS, Inc. "It is the responsibility of health professionals to go where young people are, rather than force them to search for health information that could save their lives."

Survey findings and report summary available for download from http://www.isis-inc.org/in-print/Youth_Health_and_Wellness_Report_2008.php.

About Ypulse

Ypulse is an independent media platform for youth media and marketing professionals. The daily Ypulse.com blog reaches a highly influential audience of youth-focused agency, brand and media executives, and social marketers.

About ISIS

ISIS, Inc., based in Oakland, CA, is a nonprofit organization working locally, nationally, and internationally to develop innovative sexual health resources through technology and effective collaboration among corporate, public, and nonprofit sector partners for awareness, education and prevention programs that improve people's lives.

About YouthNoise

YouthNoise, equips a community of young leaders, dedicated to creating lasting positive change around the world, with the resources to build campaigns, amplify projects and perpetuate grassroots movements. YouthNoise offers an array of tools, content, web and mobile technologies, mentorship and peer support that youth leverage to take action on a variety of social issues including poverty, health, education, environment and violence.

About Peanut Labs

Peanut Labs is changing the way online market research is accessed and delivered, providing unparalleled access to millions of 13-25 year olds that comprise today's Gen Y audience. Developer of Sample3.0, the Peanut Labs sample methodology taps into more than 70 social networks including MySpace, Facebook, and Google OpenSocial. Peanut Labs is featured in the 2008 "FAST 50 ranking of the Most Innovative Companies." More information about Peanut Labs and Sample3.0 can be found at www.peanutlabs.com.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Anastasia Goodstein
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief
    Ypulse
    415.652.4437
    Email Contact