Health anxiety in adolescents: the roles of online health information seeking and parental health anxiety



Rok publikování 2023
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Popis Health anxiety can negatively affect psychological well-being through rumination and safety measures. For adolescents, parental health anxiety presents a known social factor of health anxiety. Online health information seeking serves as another risk factor, but this has never been tested for adolescents. Our aim was to study both factors and their relationship with adolescent health anxiety in a single model. Furthermore, we included eHealth literacy as a moderator between health information seeking and health anxiety. Using SEM, we analysed a cross-sectional sample of 1,530 adolescents, 50% girls, aged 13-18 (M=15.4, SD=1.7) and their caregivers, 68% women, aged 29-75 (M=45, SD=6.4). The participants represented Czech households with children in terms of income, municipality size and region. Parental and adolescent health anxiety were positively related (ß=.40, p<.001). Seeking for disease information was also positively related to adolescent health anxiety (ß=.23, p<.001), while the effect of fitness information seeking was only marginal (ß=.08, p=.02). eHealth literacy did not moderate either disease (b=-0.06, p=.14) or fitness information seeking (b=-0.08, p=.06). Our data fitted the model adequately, CFI=.94, TLI=.93, RMSEA=.06, SRMR=.05. Our findings underline the relationship between parental and adolescent health anxiety and suggest that we must acknowledge the state of caregivers to successfully address adolescent health anxiety. We newly show that disease information seeking presents another factor related to adolescent health anxiety and that this is regardless of the level of eHealth literacy. Future research could focus on the potential interplay of the role of parents and online seeking in adolescent health anxiety.
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