Social Media Self-Efficacy of Health Education Specialists: Training and Organizational Development Implications

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A growing number of public health organizations are applying the power of social media (SM) for health promotion and behavior change. This cross-sectional study of health education specialists (n = 353) examined which demographic and occupational factors were associated with SM self-efficacy, and evaluated SM self-efficacy related to each of the Seven Areas of Responsibility. A series of one-way analyses of variance were conducted to determine whether differences in SM self-efficacy existed by sex, age, years of work experience, and SM access at work. A multiple linear regression examined the relationship between SM self-efficacy and SM experience when controlling for demographic and occupational factors. Statistically significant differences in SM self-efficacy existed by age, F(2, 289) = 6.54, p = .002. SM experience (β = 1.43, t = 11.35, p < .001) was a statistically significant predictor of SM self-efficacy, even after controlling for age, sex, years of work experience, and level of SM access, F(5, 290) = 30.88, p < .001, R2 = .35. Results revealed statistically significant differences in mean SM self-efficacy scores by the Areas of Responsibility, F(4.69, 1425.46) = 22.46, p < .001. Professional health organizations should have policies in place and trainings that are conducive to learning and applying SM for health education research and practice.

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