Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Medical Internet Research: mHealth and uHealth





Inclusive Pages





Background: Trends in social media use, including sending/receiving short message service (SMS) and social networking, are constantly changing, yet little is known about adolescent’s utilization and behaviors. This longitudinal study examines social media utilization among Latino youths, and differences by sex and acculturation.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine Latino adolescents’ social media utilization and behavior over a 16-month period, and to assess whether changes in use differed by sex and acculturation.

Methods: This study included 555 Latino youths aged 13-19 who completed baseline and 16-month follow-up surveys. Prevalence of social media utilization and frequency, by sex and acculturation categories, was examined using generalized estimating equations.

Results: Women are more likely to use SMS, but men are significantly more likely to SMS a girl/boyfriend (P=.03). The use of Internet by men and women to research health information increased over time. Facebook use declined over time (P<.001), whereas use of YouTube (P=.03) and Instagram (P<.001) increased, especially among women and more US acculturated youths.

Conclusion: Social media is ubiquitous in Latino adolescents’ lives and may be a powerful mode for public health intervention delivery.


Reproduced with permission of JMIR. mHealth uHealth.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Open Access




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