Social Work and Social Media: Online Help Seeking and the Mental Well-Being of Adolescent Males

Paul Best, Roger Manktelow, Brian J Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Current global concerns regarding the mental well-being of young males have called for fresh approaches to social work service delivery. This study investigates the efficacy of adopting more 'online' approaches within social work practice by examining the current impact of online help-seeking behaviours on the mental well-being of adolescent males. A survey of 527 respondents aged 14-16 years in schools comprised validated scales measuring mental well-being and self-efficacy, combined with questions examining online help-seeking attitudes and behaviours. The internet was used by 42% of respondents to retrieve health information. In general, respondents appeared knowledgeable regarding the importance of trusted and quality online health information, yet were more likely to use search engines (57%) or social networking sites (48%) to find information rather than a government sponsored website (23%). Young males who reported speaking to online friends regarding personal problems recorded statistically significantly higher levels of mental wellbeing (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-276
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2015


  • Help-seeking
  • Social Media
  • Young People
  • Wellbeing
  • Internet


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