Understanding University Students' Experiences, Perceptions, and Attitudes Toward Peers Displaying Mental Health-Related Problems on Social Networking Sites: Online Survey and Interview Study

Cited 0 time in webofscience Cited 0 time in scopus
  • Hit : 32
  • Download : 0
Background: College students' mental health is at an all-time low. Students are increasingly disclosing their vulnerable, stigmatizing experiences on online social networking sites (SNSs). Peer support facilitated by SNSs can play a crucial role for the students in coping with mental health-related problems. Thus, it is imperative to understand how university students form perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors toward their peers who are dealing with mental health problems. Objective: This study aimed to provide a better understanding of how college students recognize, perceive, and react to signs of mental health problems in their peers on SNSs. Our ultimate goal in this study was to inform the design of SNSs that can facilitate online peer support. Methods: We conducted surveys with 226 students as well as semistructured interviews with 20 students at six universities in South Korea. Results: Of the 226 survey respondents, 150 (66.4%) reported that they recognized signs of a mental health problem on their friends' SNS posts. However, a considerable number of respondents (62/150, 41.3%) were reluctant to offer support, even when they had identified friends who were at risk; this reluctance was due to a lack of knowledge or confidence and their desire to maintain a distance from at-risk peers to save their identity from stigmatization and to avoid emotional contagion online. Conclusions: Drawing on these results, we provide implications that could explain the construction of students' perceptions regarding their peers' mental health problems. We also provide design proposals for SNSs to serve as platforms that facilitate just-in-time and adaptive support exchanges among peers while mitigating stigma-related concerns.
Publisher
JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC
Issue Date
2021-10
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

JMIR MENTAL HEALTH, v.8, no.10

ISSN
2368-7959
DOI
10.2196/23465
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/289379
Appears in Collection
ID-Journal Papers(저널논문)
Files in This Item
There are no files associated with this item.

qr_code

  • mendeley

    citeulike


rss_1.0 rss_2.0 atom_1.0