The association among gender, computer use and online health searching, and mental health

Academic Article


  • Research investigating the impacts of computer and Internet use is increasing; however, few sociologists explore how this use may impact on mental health outcomes. The authors use data from the 2004 General Social Survey to examine the relationship among gender, computer and Internet use for health purposes and mental health. Their findings are mixed in that computer and Internet use are both positively and negatively related to mental health. They find evidence that there may be a selection bias occurring in which those with the greatest well-being problems are the ones searching online for health information. When computer and the Internet use variables were included in the models, the effect of gender on likelihood of experiencing poor mental health was attenuated, which suggests that particular types of Internet use may mediate gender disparities in mental health.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Drentea P; Goldner M; Cotten S; Hale T
  • Start Page

  • 509
  • End Page

  • 525
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 4