Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Environmental and Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Courtney Coughenour

Second Committee Member

Maxim Gakh

Third Committee Member

Sheniz Moonie

Fourth Committee Member

William Sousa

Number of Pages



Place-based health is a concept that suggests where you live has an effect on your health outcomes. Social health factors such as social cohesion, sense of community, and perceived safety are all influenced by the neighborhood environment, and positively associated with health outcomes such as self-reported minutes of physical activity and symptoms of depression. With the increasing popularity of social media sites used specifically for neighborhood purposes, more neighbors are connecting than ever before. The purpose of this study was to determine if use of neighborhood social media sites was associated with the social health factors of social cohesion, sense of community, and perceived safety among a subsample of adults in Clark County, Nevada. A survey using online and phone formats consisted of questions from the Brief Sense of Community Scale, the 2018 California Health Interview Survey, and the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Survey was used to measure social cohesion, sense of community, and perceived safety, respectively. A total of 869 participants completed the survey. Multiple regression analysis, controlling for demographic factors of age, race/ethnicity, gender, education, and income, revealed that the use of neighborhood social media was a significant predictor of small increases in the composite scores for social cohesion (B= 0.110, p=0.007) and sense of community (B=0.146, p=0.001), indicating lower perceived social cohesion and sense of community. Those who identified as Hispanic had lower perceived social cohesion, sense of community and perceived safety, and those identifying as Asian/Hawaiian/Pacific Islander had lower perceived social cohesion and sense of community than those who identified as White. An increase in age was associated with an increase in perceived sense of community and perceived safety. There was a significant positive correlation between all of the social health factors, with the strongest association between social cohesion and sense of community (r = 0.688). Given that neighborhood social media sites purport to increase connectedness, and we know that these social health indicators are associated with physical and mental health outcomes, the finding that use of neighborhood social media is associated with decreases in social health indicators is concerning. These findings support the need for further research into how neighborhood social media use is related to social health factors and their effect on physical and mental health outcomes.


Neighborhood Health; Neighborhood Social Media; Sense of Community; Social Cohesion; Social Health; Social Media


Mass Communication | Public Health | Sociology

File Format


File Size

3900 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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