Drivers of social media use among African Americans in the event of a crisis

Lori Pennington-Gray, Kiki Kaplanidou, Ashley Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Research has examined the role of social media during the time of a crisis in various fields; however, there is a paucity of research in this area as it relates to tourism. Moreover, few studies have examined at-risk populations, such as tourists, in times of crisis. To assess the drivers of turning to social media during a crisis, a national survey of 1,018 African American travelers was conducted. Respondents were asked to indicate on a 5-point scale the likelihood of turning to social media for information "if they were currently in the middle of their trip and heard that a crisis has just occurred within the immediate vicinity of their current location." Hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to determine drivers on African American travelers' decisions to use social media during a crisis. These drivers were age, perceptions of risk during their trip, and frequency and type of social media use engaged in on a regular basis. Overall, findings suggested that when controlling for age only, crime, financial, and physical perceptions of risk drove social media use during a crisis, while controlling for age and perception of risk, use of social media in one's daily life showed no influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-95
Number of pages19
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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