Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Computers in Human Behavior


This study explores the nature of the relationship between informational social support and components of online health information seeking and how this process influences college students’ healthy eating intentions. Results showed that social support was positively associated with online information seeking and more favorable impressions of nutrition/healthy diet information on the web. In addition, although socialsupport was not associated with healthy eating intentions, all three information-seeking measures significantly predicted this outcome – even after controlling for numerous health-related factors. Additional mediation tests showed that social support had an indirect impact on healthy eating intentions through use as well as through a multi-step process involving perceptions of online resources. Overall, these results suggest that by raising health consciousness, informational support may trigger online health information seeking leading to healthier lifestyle intentions.

Published Citation

McKinley, C. J., & Wright, P. (2014). Informational support and online information seeking: Examining the association between factors contributing to healthy eating behavior. Computers in Human Behavior, 37, 107-116.