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Open AccessArticle

Social Networking Sites and Perceived Content Influence: An Exploratory Analysis from Focus Groups with French Adolescents

1
Institut PRESAGE, Université Lyon, Université Saint-Etienne, HESPER EA 7425, F-42023 Saint-Etienne, France
2
French Academic Directorate of the National Education Services of the Loire Department, Univ. Lyon, Université Saint-Etienne, HESPER EA 7425, F-69000 Lyon, France
3
CIRCEA, Université Clermont Auvergne, Université d’Auvergne, EA NPsy-Sydo, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197025
Received: 31 July 2020 / Revised: 20 September 2020 / Accepted: 22 September 2020 / Published: 25 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue eHealth Literacy)
Social networking sites (SNSs) are invested in heavily by marketers aiming to reach a growing number of consumers. Concerns regarding the influence of posts displayed on SNSs in relation to behaviour were raised, in particular the promotion of ill-health behaviour directed to adolescents who may be at risk from suggestible practices. Although adolescents tend to be critical towards traditional forms of advertising, little is known about their perception of influencing strategies developed online, especially where sponsor- and user-generated content coexist. This exploratory study aims to gather information directly from adolescents about their use of SNSs their awareness of the influence that SNS content may have, particularly when it comes to tobacco and alcohol messages. Ten focus groups were conducted with 39 adolescents (11–16 years old; 56.4% male). Qualitative analysis documents the differences associated with adolescents’ favourite SNSs. The different parameters linked to each SNS and the expectation to find entertaining content and values associated with friendship may decrease adolescents’ perception of potential risk for health associated with SNS use. Authors advocate for the development of educational programs based on eHealth literacy and the use of social marketing techniques to facilitate and motivate adolescents to develop their competences. View Full-Text
Keywords: teenagers; influence; marketing; alcohol; tobacco; health literacy; behaviours teenagers; influence; marketing; alcohol; tobacco; health literacy; behaviours
MDPI and ACS Style

Chapoton, B.; Régnier Denois, V.; Nekaa, M.; Chauvin, F.; Flaudias, V. Social Networking Sites and Perceived Content Influence: An Exploratory Analysis from Focus Groups with French Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7025.

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