Teens #TrustParents More than the Internet with Health Questions


Teens have many questions about their health. What makes a balanced diet? How do I get rid of acne? What are some tips for dealing with anxiety?

When it comes to answering those questions, new research from the Center on Media and Human Development School of Communication at Northwestern University shows that 96% of teens have gotten health information from their parents and 84% of teens have searched for health information on the internet. But does the Internet provide satisfactory answers to teen’s questions? Well, the study found that only 24% of teens are satisfied with online health information.

So who might be a more trustworthy source, according to teens?

The 24 percent who say they are ‘very’ satisfied with online health information falls far short of the percent who are very satisfied with information from their parents (57 percent), health providers (54 percent) or health classes at school (38 percent),” the study reported. Results were based on a survey of 1,156 adolescents aged 13 to 18.

In an article from the New York Times, Marguerita Lightfoot, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said,

“Everyone thinks teens don’t talk to their parents, but if they’re really worried about their symptoms, they’ll go to them,”

In what may be a surprise to some people, only 13% of teens have used the internet as a research tool for things they felt uncomfortable talking to their parents about.

One takeaway from this research is that even in the internet age parents remain influential. Teens now get information from the internet but they still rely on and #TrustParents.