The impact of prevalent behavioural mimicry in adolescents on disease prevention and maintenance of healthy behavioural activation
Authors: Xiaotong Li, Ao Jiang
Abstract: With the popularity and spread of social media, more and more social software is helping to bring people closer to each other . It is increasingly easy for adolescents to get other people's updates from social media, including celebrities, internet celebrities and peers . Also adolescence is a time when the brain undergoes many structural and functional changes, so it is likely that the part of the social brain responsible for regulating imitation is still maturing throughout adolescence, which may lead to more pronounced imitative behaviour . In addition, adolescents gain popularity, status and attractiveness through imitation of their idols or among their peers . Therefore, making good use of the prevalent behaviours that social media has created in society has the potential to provide better behavioural interventions for the adolescent population , helping to shape better behavioural habits in adolescents, improving the current trend of younger disease and potentially reducing the likelihood of preventable health problems.The aim of this study was to analyse how popular behavioural mimicry among adolescents can be used to promote the activation of their health behaviours. We asked two questions: 1. the extent to which imitation behaviours activate adolescents' health behaviours; 2. measuring the impact of knowledge, skills and beliefs involved in the activation of behavioural imitation on adolescents' health maintenance and disease prevention.A questionnaire was used to enumerate the population groups that have the greatest influence on adolescents as the test sample in this study. 100 participants took part in the questionnaire, including 50 participants from mainland China and 50 participants from Hong Kong, whose mean age was 16 ± 3 years. After administering the questionnaire, 50 of these participants, who were randomly and equally divided into 10 groups of 5 participants each, were surveyed using the Activation Inventory (PAM) to measure the current level of knowledge, skills and beliefs involved in the activation of the adolescent population to maintain health and prevent disease, and then measured again using the PAM 30 and 60 days after the adolescents were exposed to the imitated subjects.The adolescent group itself was not highly aware of healthy behaviours and the effectiveness of positive health behaviour imitation in changing health behaviours and outcomes was somewhat proven when they were exposed to positive health behaviours of imitators for 30 days. However, 60 days after participants were exposed to imitations of healthy behaviours, although the imitations were still effective in maintaining healthy behaviours, the 60-day activation of healthy behaviours produced some decline compared to the first 30 days of outcomes. Therefore, in the future, more research should be conducted on the preferences and needs of adolescent groups to identify the social factors and groups that best trigger imitation among adolescents, and to promote positive health behaviours among adolescents by developing mobile applications that are more in line with adolescents' expectations to trigger trends, create widespread social discussion and be present in their daily conversations.References1.Moira Burke and Robert E. Kraut. 2014. Growing closer on facebook: changes in tie strength through social network site use. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '14). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 4187–4196. https://doi.org/10.1145/2556288.25570942.C. Longobardi, M. Settanni, M.A. Fabris, D. Marengo, Follow or be followed: Exploring the links between Instagram popularity, social media addiction, cyber victimization, and subjective happiness in Italian adolescents, Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 113, 2020, 104955,ISSN 0190-7409, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.104955.3.Cook, J., Bird, G. Social attitudes differentially modulate imitation in adolescents and adults. Exp Brain Res 211, 601–612 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-011-2584-4.4.Raviv, A., Bar-Tal, D., Raviv, A. et al. Adolescent idolization of pop singers: Causes, expressions, and reliance. J Youth Adolescence 25, 631–650 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01537358.5.Korda H, Itani Z. Harnessing Social Media for Health Promotion and Behavior Change. Health Promotion Practice. 2013;14(1):15-23. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524839911405850.
Keywords: Prevent disease, Maintaining healthy, Activate, Adolescent, Behavioural mimicry, Healthcare app
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