Trends & Implications of COVID-19 Information Exposure Amongst Vulnerable Populations
Information-seeking online has become a crucial lifeline for many individuals as they search for knowledge and resources to counteract a myriad of social, health, safety, and financial COVID-19 challenges. However, research has shown that online information is less accessible to populations such as low-income adults. Furthermore, exposure to pandemic-related information may actually have negative impacts on vulnerable populations’ wellbeing, for example, through access to misinformation and content that increases anxiety amidst existing stressors and inhibits behaviors that can prevent the spread of COVID-19. As low-income, Black, and Hispanic adults are experiencing disproportionately high rates of COVID-19-related death, severe sickness and life disruptions, our research investigates to what extent COVID-19 information is supporting or inhibiting the wellbeing of these populations.
In this talk, I will discuss results from a 9-wave longitudinal survey we conducted from July 2020-January 2021 with a focus on Black, Hispanic, and low-income adults. Our findings characterize respondents’ attitudes towards COVID-19 information, levels of exposure to various kinds of COVID-19 information, and associations between information exposure and psychological wellbeing. In addition, our results characterize the evolution of these trends over several months of the pandemic. These insights serve to inform human-centered computing, data science, and public health research and practice focused on the wellbeing of vulnerable groups during public health crises.
Andrea G. Parker
I am an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, within the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
I am the founder and director of the Wellness Technology Research Lab.
Previously, I was an Assistant Professor in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and the Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University.
In 2012, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Everyday Computing Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where I worked with Dr. Elizabeth Mynatt and collaborated with Dr. Veda Johnson at Emory University School of Medicine. I hold a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Computer Science from Northeastern University.
My research contributes to the fields of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), and Health Informatics. I design and evaluate the impact of software tools that help people manage their health and wellness. My research specifically focuses on health equity. I study racial, ethnic and economic health disparities and the social context of health management. I take an ecological approach to technology design, whereby I conduct in-depth fieldwork to examine the intrapersonal, social, cultural, and environmental factors that influence a person’s ability and desire to make healthy decisions–and how technology can support wellness in this context.