WH&Y authors: Professor Kate Steinbeck

Citation: Amon KL, Paxton K, Klineberg E, Riley L, Hawke C, Steinbeck K. Insights into Facebook Pages: an early adolescent health research study page targeted at parents. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 2016;28:69-77



Facebook has been used in health research, but there is a lack of literature regarding how Facebook may be used to recruit younger adolescents. A Facebook Page was created for an adolescent cohort study on the effects of puberty hormones on well-being and behaviour in early adolescence. Used as a communication tool with existing participants, it also aimed to alert potential participants to the study. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the development of the study Facebook Page and present the fan response to the types of posts made on the Page using the Facebook-generated Insights data. Two types of posts were made on the study Facebook Page. The first type was study-related update posts and events. The second was relevant adolescent and family research and current news posts. Observations on the use of and response to the Page were made over 1 year across three phases (phase 1, very low Facebook use; phase 2, high Facebook use; phase 3, low Facebook use). Most Page fans were female (88.6%), with the largest group of fans aged between 35 and 44 years. Study-related update posts with photographs were the most popular. This paper provides a model on which other researchers could base Facebook communication and potential recruitment in the absence of established guidelines.

About The Authors


Kate Steinbeck is an endocrinologist and adolescent physician, and Professor and Medical Foundation ...