Focus on research: AdPR professor studies the prevalence of depression on social media

Associate Professor Yan
Jin studies the intersection
between depression and
social media
As part of a new initiative, the Advertising and Public Relations department will highlight research led by our own faculty and staff. In this article, Associate Professor Yan Jin studies the prevalence of depression-related posts on popular social media platforms.

Jeanine Guidry, Uuan Zhang, Yan Jin, Candace Parrish. Portrayals of depression on Pinterest and why public relations practitioners should care. Science Direct.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. Small wonder that the disease is beginning to gain a substantial foothold in the rapidly growing landscape of social media. A new study featured in Science Direct looked at a sampling of depression-related postings on the popular Pinterest application. According to its findings, users posting about depression make frequent references to the seriousness or severity of the disease. The general nature of the postings – which tend to be more about expressing feelings and seeking support – implies that many posters are themselves suffering from some form of depression.

There’s cause for concern in the findings as well: Of the 40 percent of posters who mention coping mechanisms, more than half cite dysfunctional mechanisms such as behavioral disengagement, self-blame or denial – and 10 percent of all postings refer to suicide. The lesson, according to co-author Yan Jin, associate professor of public relations at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, is that an opportunity exists for public relations practitioners to help, particularly those in the health care field.
To view the full article, click here.
Written by Tripp Cagle.

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