Social networks as tools for the prevention and promotion of health among youth

José Antonio García del Castillo*, Álvaro García del Castillo-López, Paulo César Dias, Fernando García-Castillo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The emergence of information and communication technologies (ICT) has generated a number of research questions, related to their use and potential risk, but also potentials for prevention or health promotion. Online social networks have become an important source of information for users as well as a tool for social relations. As traditional social networks, they can act as vehicles to improve the health of adolescents and youth, as well as play a key role in an educational context. The aim of this work is then to explore the theoretical relevance of ICT, particularly on online social networks, on disease prevention and health promotion of communicable diseases. Literature review points out the role of online social networks, particularly in the field of sexual health, body image, especially eating habits and overweight, as well as smoking and alcohol dependence. Data allow us to understand how online social network behavior and interaction is related to their burden and interventions developed in sexual health and addiction show positive results. More efforts in body image are needed in order to use these tools for prevention and promotion of health from early age.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalPsicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Health promotion
  • Prevention
  • Social networks
  • Youth


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