Psychosocial Effects of SNS Use: A Longitudinal Study Focused on the Moderation Effect of Social Capital

ArticleinComputers in Human Behavior 69 · December 2016with 225 Reads 
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Abstract
As represented by “Facebook depression” and “alone together,” the effects of SNS use on a person’s psychosocial well-being have been highlighted of late, but it is still unclear if SNS use adversely affects the users in psychosocial terms. In addition, there have been few studies that verified the moderating role of social capital in the relationship between SNS use and psychosocial factors. Using the one-year longitudinal panel data of 477 subjects, the current study tested the effects of SNS use and network size on psychosocial well-being factors (i.e., depression, loneliness, and life satisfaction). To clarify the accumulative effects of the variables on one another, the concept of “reciprocal influences” was also applied in the analysis. The results show different results of SNS use according to the degree of social capital. For the lower-social-capital group, a “vicious circle” was observed: depression augmented SNS use, but the increase of SNS use reinforced the degree of depression. Conversely, for the higher-social-capital group, a “virtuous circle” was found: SNS use increased the network size, and the increased network size strengthened the degree of life satisfaction. These results imply that social capital is a key factor in explaining and predicting the effects of SNS use. The theoretical contributions and practical implications of the study based on the empirical findings are discussed herein.

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  • ... The literature validated that different types of social capital are positively associated with psychological well-being (Pang, 2018). Several preceding studies have evidenced the meaning of correlation between social capital and psychological well-being backed by social capital theory (Chen & Li, 2017;Yoo & Jeong, 2017;Lee, Chung, & Park, 2018). Students living abroad are connected to their families and friends through SNSs to maintain their well-being and avoid loneliness (Pang, 2018). ...
    Article
    The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between social capital and psychological well-being through perceived social support testing social media usage as a moderator. This study is based on social capital theory, which is centred on human interaction through social support to amplify the psychological well-being. Data was collected from 368 masters' students belonging to five different campuses. Using partial least squares structural equation modelling the results reveal that perceived social support significantly mediates the link between social capital and psychological well-being, and social media usage heightens the relationship between social capital and saws social support when it is used for a social cause. Findings of the study have some practical implications on how to diagnose and prevent factors that influence the feelings of isolation and loneliness in online interactions. The results are useful for digital media users and managers in higher education distance learning institutions since social interaction might indirectly benefit virtual university students' psychological well-being by increasing the perceived social support followed by social capital. Researchers agree that using social media may help to improve students' levels of life quality if educational administrators can develop novel applications that pay close attention to individuals' social and moral support. As such, social media designers could design more entertaining features to efficiently stimulate students and other users to adapt and meet their needs for social interactions. This research has established that a simple social conversation forum app should be launched by any virtual university to bring their students together where they could feel a sense of belonging and connectedness with a slice of social support. Moreover, teachers should also have a separate informal blog where they could communicate with their students each week to overcome the lack of face-to-face interaction. The administration of virtual universities has to increase the number of face-to-face gathering and seminars, i.e. it should be once in a semester rather than once in the entire study program. It will motivate the students by making references and relations with their peers. By spreading this knowledge, the students may get out of the state of isolation that will improve their performance. By demonstrating this in the higher education sector, virtual universities could reduce the service staff more intelligently through AI, and delay in response time (e.g., communication between student-to-student and student-to-teacher) could also be removed efficiently. Applying this model in virtual university settings could bring local and international students to obtain more significant social support, consequently leading to amplified psychological well-being. Keywords psychological well-being, social capital, internet marketing, social media usage, perceived social support online communities, e-learning, virtual engagement, social ties, online social interaction, loneliness, and isolation.
  • ... Kizgin and Jamal [50] claimed that expressing self-information on SNSs is essential for building social communication with others. Substantial evidence has also documented the significant link between SNS addiction and online self-disclosure [61,62]. Studies related to self-disclosure on SNS proposed that people often disclosed a large amount of information on SNS [3,32,59]. ...
    Article
    Social networking sites (SNS) provides a virtual platform for socialization, interaction, and as well as for entertainment. The overuse of SNS has become a global phenomenon, especially in young generations. The purpose of this study is to investigate the SNS addiction elements and impact of SNS addiction on online self-disclosure. Additionally, the moderation effect of openness and extraversion was also analyzed. Data was gathered online using the Google survey application, from university students in Pakistan. In total 290 samples was gathered and examined, for analysis using SPSS and AMOS software. Findings confirmed that young generations tend to have greater online self-disclosure due to SNS addiction. Both moderation results also show a significant relationship between SNS-addiction and online self-disclosure. The results of the current study also used as a guideline for making policies related to SNS addiction.
  • ... A better theoretical understanding of demographic characteristics and IS use is needed to benefit research in the IS field [13]. A study on various social factors for expanding the horizon of the research on the SNSs users and the effects of SNSs use needs to be conducted [14]. ...
  • ... Also, the number of contacts may be partly related to social capital. Yoo and Jeong's (2017) longitudinal study found that social media use is beneficial only for people with higher online social capital such that more social media use increases the number of online friends, which leads to greater happiness. The number of contacts in mobile messenger represents one's online network size, partly explaining social capital. ...
    Article
    The current study reexamined the relationship between social media use and happiness by broadening the scope of social media and rethinking the conceptualization of happiness. Specifically, this study included platforms other than Facebook and tested differential effects of each platform. Because happiness is not entirely relative, it was hypothesized that social comparison would influence only relative happiness, which is only one part of overall happiness. A two-wave longitudinal survey among Korean females revealed that the use of blogs, Instagram, and LinkedIn is positively associated with social comparison at Wave 1 (W1), whereas Twitter is negatively associated. LinkedIn use was most strongly associated with social comparison. In turn, social comparison at W1 negatively predicted relative happiness at W2 (“I am happier than my friends”) but did not predict overall happiness at W2. Social media may lead us to believe that other people’s lives are better through social comparison. However, such comparison influences only part of overall happiness or life satisfaction. Without social comparison, social media have the potential to make us happier.
  • ... A better theoretical understanding of demographic characteristics and IS use is needed to benefit research in the IS field [16]. A study on various social factors for expanding the horizon of the research on the SNSs users and the effects of SNSs use needs to be conducted [17]. Studies that deal with the demographic influences on SNSs use during the selection and pre-enrollment phase are scarce [18]; to the best of our knowledge, no research has been conducted to assess SNSs from both an ebusiness standpoint and students' perspective during the selection and pre-enrollment phase. ...
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    In the higher education industry, web-based marketing has already been widely applied to service current students, as well as to attract new ones. All major universities in the world have incorporated their websites with social networking sites (SNSs), but it is likely that a significantly larger proportion has no clear knowledge of how successful their SNSs are. Accordingly, this study proposes an integrated model for evaluating the effectiveness of SNSs from an engineering student point of view. This model is based on the DeLone and McLean IS success theory coupled with the socio-demographic conditions perspective. The model was tested by using data collected from 638 engineering students. The results show that seven hypothesized relationships between seven success variables were significantly supported and two socio-demographic characteristics were significantly related to SNSs use. Our analysis showed that all three quality dimensions (i.e., information quality, system quality, service quality) had a positive impact on user satisfaction, and that only information quality had a significant effect on SNSs use. User satisfaction had positive and direct effects on SNSs use. Female students and self-funding students tend to use SNSs (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) more than male students and students with government scholarships. Therefore, gender and funding options should be considered as significant characteristics, since as control variables play significant role in the model. Engineering academic institutions can use the results of this research to assess the success of their SNSs implementation from their students’ perspective.
  • ... A better theoretical understanding of demographic characteristics and IS use is needed to benefit research in the IS field [16]. A study on various social factors for expanding the horizon of the research on the SNSs users and the effects of SNSs use needs to be conducted [17]. Studies that deal with the demographic influences on SNSs use during the selection and pre-enrollment phase are scarce [18]; to the best of our knowledge, no research has been conducted to assess SNSs from both an ebusiness standpoint and students' perspective during the selection and pre-enrollment phase. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    In the higher education industry, web-based marketing has already been widely applied to service current students, as well as to attract new ones. All major universities in the world have incorporated their websites with social networking sites (SNSs), but it is likely that a significantly larger proportion has no clear knowledge of how successful their SNSs are. Accordingly, this study proposes an integrated model for evaluating the effectiveness of SNSs from an engineering student point of view. This model is based on the DeLone and McLean IS success theory coupled with the socio-demographic conditions perspective. The model was tested by using data collected from 638 engineering students. The results show that seven hypothesized relationships between seven success variables were significantly supported and two socio-demographic characteristics were significantly related to SNSs use. Our analysis showed that all three quality dimensions (i.e., information quality, system quality, service quality) had a positive impact on user satisfaction, and that only information quality had a significant effect on SNSs use. User satisfaction had positive and direct effects on SNSs use. Female students and self-funding students tend to use SNSs (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) more than male students and students with government scholarships. Therefore, gender and funding options should be considered as significant characteristics, since as control variables play significant role in the model. Engineering academic institutions can use the results of this research to assess the success of their SNSs implementation from their students' perspective.
  • ... Clearly, the adoption of SNS allows people to instantly establish the profile, accumulate real-life friends, as well as engage in computer-mediated communication through conveying, posting, and leaving comments on differentiate information Pang, 2017). As a result, social media application is currently utilized by members from distinct societal, cultural backgrounds, and geographical regions in variety manners and to fulfill diverse personal requirements (Dhir and Tsai, 2017;Yoo and Jeong, 2017). A substantial body of literature has already documented that the use of SNS of younger generations (i.e., college attending students) would lead to a series of social and psychological consequences including enhancing gratification with campus life, increasing civic involvement, and maintaining social ties (Chen and Chan, 2017;Dang, 2018;Forbush and Foucault-Welles, 2016;Petersen and Johnston, 2015;Zhan et al., 2016). ...
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    Although WeChat has recently spawned significant resolutions in technology-mediated social contact and interpersonal communication, the research regarding the social and psychological impacts of the newly emerging technology is relatively few. The primary purpose of the current empirical research is to unearth whether and how WeChat interaction could enhance overseas students’ sense of subjective well-being by concentrating on social integration, bridging relationships, and bonding relationships. Using web-based data of 228 Chinese subjects, the obtained results reveal that the time spent on WeChat significantly and directly impacts users’ subjective well-being. Additionally, the findings demonstrate that social integration, bridging relationships, bonding relationships are all significant predictors to subjective well-being. Furthermore, the perceptions of social integration and social capital could play the crucial mediating roles in the connection between WeChat use and the dependent variable of subjective well-being. Therefore, these outcomes may shed light on a more nuanced comprehending of the influence of the new social media interaction on sojourner’s social adaption and overall life quality in the digital age.
  • ... Social capital is a multidimensional construct established to describe the tangible and intangible benefits or resources one can obtain through personal social relationships with others (Putnam, 1995;Williams, 2006). The notion is regarded as one of the most frequently utilized concepts across various academic areas, and has recently broadened its scope into new media studies to decipher the perceived benefits of social media technologies (Yoo & Jeong, 2017;. According to Putnam, social capital could be distinguished into two categories from an individual level: bridging social capital and bonding social capital (Putnam, 2001). ...
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    The objective of this exploratory research is to investigate whether and how different types of social networking site (SNS) interactions are related to Chinese international students’ various dimensions of social capital and perceived psychological well-being. Based on a sample of 206 Chinese international students in Germany, findings indicate that after controlling for demographic characteristics, social use of SNS is positively associated with improvements in users’ well-being while entertainment use is not. Additionally, using SNS for entertainment proposes is a significant predictor of users’ bridging social capital. However, bridging social capital on SNS is not related to the perceived psychological well-being. Furthermore, the study demonstrates a positive indirect effect mechanism by which social use of SNS would influence and psychological well-being through bonding and maintained social capital. Therefore, these empirical results offer significant implications for a more nuanced understanding of the crucial role of social media in sojourners’ social connectedness as well as quality of life in an intercultural context.
  • ... A C C E P T E D ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT 9 status decreased by 7% of a standard deviation for each 1-standard deviation increase in lifetime like count, 8% of a standard deviation for each 1-standard deviation increase in 30day link count. Yoo and Jeong (2017) first excluded non-SNS-users. Results showed that among SNS-users with low Internet social capital scores, SNS-use was positively associated with depressive symptoms one year later. ...
    Article
    It is unclear to what extent the use of social networking sites (SNS-use) predicts mental health or sleep problems, over and above prior problems. The aim of this study is to examine the independent predictive values of SNS-use. We extracted data from the Longitudinal Internet studies for the Social Sciences panel (LISS panel), based on a random sample of Dutch residents. Using logistic and multiple regression analyses, we assessed the predictive values of SNS-use (Read, Post, Chat) among the total study sample (N = 3486), six age categories, and subgroups with low and high loneliness levels. The three types of SNS-use were significant predictors for mental health and sleep problems on the short and longer term among the total sample, but not after controlling for prior mental health and sleep problems, loneliness and demographics. Analyses among the six age groups revealed some mixed but very weak effects. Among a few age categories, more SNS-use was very associated with more sleep problems. No differences were observed within subgroups with low or high loneliness levels. We conclude that, when controlling for prior problems and loneliness, SNS-use does not or hardly predict mental health and sleep problems on the short or long term.
  • ... The core value of using social media is that it builds interpersonal relationships through making new friends via trivial interaction or participating in social communities (Jin, 2015) as well as through enabling people to socially support each other (Nabi, Prestin, & So, 2013). As such, social capital as a theoretical framework has been frequently employed in social media studies that mainly focus on how social media use is related to social capital (Ahmad, Mustafa, & Ullah, 2016;Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007;Fu, Wu, & Cho, 2017;Hofer & Aubert, 2013;Jin, 2015;Yoo & Jeong, 2016). Social capital is described as the "features of social organizations such as networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit" (Putnam, 2000, p. 67). ...
    Article
    This study examined whether and how the usage of social media can influence college students' level of network heterogeneity and how network heterogeneity is associated with levels of bridging/bonding social capital and subjective well-being. In particular, whether network heterogeneity plays a mediating role in the relationship between social media use and the dependent variables of bridging/bonding social capital and subjective well-being was investigated. The results indicated that usage of social media is positively associated with college students’ communication network heterogeneity in their everyday life. Network heterogeneity is also positively related to levels of bridging/bonding social capital and subjective well-being. We also discovered a positive indirect effect mechanism by which social media use influences bridging/bonding social capital and subjective well-being through network heterogeneity.
  • ... WhatsApp, have become an integral part of individuals' daily lives (Yang & Lee, 2018;Yoo & Jeong, 2017), which will build and expand links with other members, as well as psychological social support. ...
  • ... Second, although previous research efforts have been dedicated to the investigation of longitudinal relationships between SNS use and well-being among adults (e.g., Shakya and Christakis, 2016;Yoo and Jeong, 2017), studies focusing on the contribution of social comparison processes on SNSs to self-esteem or well-being in the long-term are lacking. The available cross-sectional findings (e.g., Wang et al., 2017) are no doubt plausible, yet, they remain subject to the well-known limitations of correlational data such as the difficulty to determine the direction of the relationships (Lee, 2014). ...
    Article
    Exposure to carefully selected information on social networking sites (SNSs) showing a flawless self and an ideal life has been found to harm young individuals’ self-esteem and well-being. However, SNS use is no longer limited to young people. Fueled by the sharp increase of smartphone ownerships, which allow users to access information about others anytime and anywhere, nowadays, a wide range of age groups uses SNSs. Accordingly, this study investigated the relationships between mobile SNS use, upward social comparison, self-esteem, and well-being for the first time. We employed a two-wave panel survey (NT2 = 461) using a quota sample of adults. Results revealed that Facebook use predicted upward social comparison, which harmed individuals’ self-esteem and well-being over time, while Instagram use directly influenced well-being negatively over time. Additionally, we found support for reciprocal relationships between upward social comparison on SNSs and self-esteem as well as well-being in a longitudinal context. The potential negative implications of SNS use on well-being are discussed.
  • ... In addition, Facebook use was positively related to FoMO, comparing with individuals who check their Facebook account less frequently, those who check more frequently have higher level of FoMO (Eniko 2016). Besides, excessive SNS use has also been found to lead the users to a high degree of FoMO (Przybylski et al. 2013;Yoo and Jeong 2017). Moreover, there can be bidirectional relationships between behavioral addiction and psychological problems/mental health, while some papers saying that behavioral addiction leads to psychological problems, the others saying the other way around (Wang et al. 2017b;2018b, c). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Previous research has documented that social networking sites (SNS) addiction is positively related to FoMO (Fear of Missing Out). However, little is known about the mediating and moderating mechanisms underlying this relation. The current study tested the mediating effect of envy in the association between SNS addiction and FoMO, and whether this mediating process was moderated by need to belong. The model in this study was examined with 704 Chinese adolescents (mean age = 16.80 years, SD = 0.92). The participants completed questionnaires regarding SNS addiction, envy, FoMO, and need to belong. The results showed that SNS addiction was positively associated with FoMO. Mediation analysis indicated that envy mediated the association between SNS addiction and FoMO. Moderated mediation analysis further revealed that the mediated path was stronger for adolescents with higher degrees of need to belong. These findings highlight the significance of confirming the mechanisms that moderate the mediated paths between SNS addiction and FoMO. Besides, the findings provide a potential way to understand the consequences of SNS addiction better and help to reduce the negative impact of high levels of FOMO on adolescents.
  • ... This study included a focused investigation of the prior literature of two disciplines. First, this research focused on finding the association between the productive characteristics of social media on students' communities and how social media facilitates the sharing of opinions of interest with others [15]. Second, it examined the relationship between the adverse physiognomies of social media on select Pakistani university students and the students' communities and how social media has a negative impact when students indulge in excessive use [16,17]. ...
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    Full-text available
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  • ... This study included a focused investigation of the prior literature of two disciplines. First, this research focused on finding the association between the productive characteristics of social media on students' communities and how social media facilitates the sharing of opinions of interest with others [15]. Second, it examined the relationship between the adverse physiognomies of social media on select Pakistani university students and the students' communities and how social media has a negative impact when students indulge in excessive use [16,17]. ...
  • ... This study included a focused investigation of the prior literature of two disciplines. First, this research focused on finding the association between the productive characteristics of social media on students' communities and how social media facilitates the sharing of opinions of interest with others [15]. Second, it examined the relationship between the adverse physiognomies of social media on select Pakistani university students and the students' communities and how social media has a negative impact when students indulge in excessive use [16,17]. ...
    Article
    In today's world, social media is playing an indispensable role on the learning behavior of university students to achieve sustainable education. The impact of social media on sustainable education is becoming an essential and impelling factor. The world has become a global village and technology use has made it a smaller world through social media and how it is changing instruction. This original study is amongst the few to perform a focalized investigation on revealing the relationship between positive and negative characteristics of social media and the learning attitude of university students for sustainable education. However, this study aims to examine the constructive and adverse factors that impact on students' minds and how these helped students to share positive and negative aspects with others. It is increasingly noticeable that social networking sites and their applications present enormous benefits for as well as risks to university students and their implications on students' psychological adjustment or learning behaviors are not well understood. This study adapted the cluster sampling method, and respondents participated from five selected regions. Researchers distributed 1013 questionnaires among the targeted sample of university students with an age range of 16 to 35 years, and they collected 831 complete/valid responses. This study applied the social gratification theory to examine students' behavior practicing social media usage. This study specifically identified 18 adversarial and constructive factors of social media from the previous literature. The findings revealed that the usage of social media in Pakistan has a negative influence on a student's behavior as compared to positive aspects. Results may not be generalized to the entire student community as findings are specific to the specific respondents only. This study presents a relationship between antithetical and creative characteristics of social media and exhibits avenues for future studies by facilitating a better understanding of web-based social network use.
  • ... A growing number of empirical studies have provided the relation between media and adolescent adaptation (e.g. Błachnio, Przepiorka, Bałakier, & Boruch, 2016;Desjarlais & Joseph, 2017;Smith, Morgan, & Monks, 2017;Yoo & Jeong, 2017). For example, on the positive aspect, online communication can reduce depressed individuals' depressive symptom (Adams & Cantin, 2013;Frison & Eggermont, 2015) and enhance friendship quality and well-being (Desjarlais & Joseph, 2017;Valkenburg & Peter, 2009). ...
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    Numerous studies proved that mobile phone affects adolescents’ psychosocial development. The present study aimed to investigate the relation between mobile phone functions and adolescent adaptation, as well as the mediating role of peer relationship. Moreover, the present study also explored whether gender and education level moderated the mediating model. A sample of 2064 adolescents (1175 girls, mean age = 14.64 ± 1.95 years) participated the survey. Participants completed the questionnaires on perceived mobile phone functions, friendship quality, peer group identity, and adolescent adaptation. The results revealed that the pragmatic function of mobile phone not only positively predicted adolescent adaptation directly, but also through friendship quality and peer group identity. Symbolic function of mobile phone negatively predicted adolescent adaptation directly, as well as via friendship quality. Education level rather than gender moderated the mediating model. Comparing with senior high school students, the effects of mobile phone functions on adolescent adaptation were stronger among junior high school students.
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    For numerical optimization of the cost function of the maximum likelihood (ML) algorithm for angle-of-arrival (AOA) estimation, Newton-type method has been widely employed. In this paper, we apply the Newton-type method to the optimization of cost function for spectrum estimation-based AOA estimation algorithm of the conventional beamforming, the Capon beamfomring and the MUSIC algorithm. Explicit expressions of the first derivatives and the second derivatives of the cost functions are presented. The expressions are used for the Newton iteration to improve the accuracy of the initial estimates. The performance improvement in terms of estimation accuracy and computational burden is demonstrated using the Monte-Carlo simulations.
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    This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
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    It is not—unless it triggers feelings of envy. This study uses the framework of social rank theory of depression and conceptualizes Facebook envy as a possible link between Facebook surveillance use and depression among college students. Using a survey of 736 college students, we found that the effect of surveillance use of Facebook on depression is mediated by Facebook envy. However, when Facebook envy is controlled for, Facebook use actually lessens depression.
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    Journal of Democracy 6.1 (1995) 65-78 As featured on National Public Radio, The New York Times, and in other major media, we offer this sold-out, much-discussed Journal of Democracy article by Robert Putnam, "Bowling Alone." You can also find information at DemocracyNet about the Journal of Democracy and its sponsor, the National Endowment for Democracy. Many students of the new democracies that have emerged over the past decade and a half have emphasized the importance of a strong and active civil society to the consolidation of democracy. Especially with regard to the postcommunist countries, scholars and democratic activists alike have lamented the absence or obliteration of traditions of independent civic engagement and a widespread tendency toward passive reliance on the state. To those concerned with the weakness of civil societies in the developing or postcommunist world, the advanced Western democracies and above all the United States have typically been taken as models to be emulated. There is striking evidence, however, that the vibrancy of American civil society has notably declined over the past several decades. Ever since the publication of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, the United States has played a central role in systematic studies of the links between democracy and civil society. Although this is in part because trends in American life are often regarded as harbingers of social modernization, it is also because America has traditionally been considered unusually "civic" (a reputation that, as we shall later see, has not been entirely unjustified). When Tocqueville visited the United States in the 1830s, it was the Americans' propensity for civic association that most impressed him as the key to their unprecedented ability to make democracy work. "Americans of all ages, all stations in life, and all types of disposition," he observed, "are forever forming associations. There are not only commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but others of a thousand different types -- religious, moral, serious, futile, very general and very limited, immensely large and very minute. . . . Nothing, in my view, deserves more attention than the intellectual and moral associations in America." Recently, American social scientists of a neo-Tocquevillean bent have unearthed a wide range of empirical evidence that the quality of public life and the performance of social institutions (and not only in America) are indeed powerfully influenced by norms and networks of civic engagement. Researchers in such fields as education, urban poverty, unemployment, the control of crime and drug abuse, and even health have discovered that successful outcomes are more likely in civically engaged communities. Similarly, research on the varying economic attainments of different ethnic groups in the United States has demonstrated the importance of social bonds within each group. These results are consistent with research in a wide range of settings that demonstrates the vital importance of social networks for job placement and many other economic outcomes. Meanwhile, a seemingly unrelated body of research on the sociology of economic development has also focused attention on the role of social networks. Some of this work is situated in the developing countries, and some of it elucidates the peculiarly successful "network capitalism" of East Asia. Even in less exotic Western economies, however, researchers have discovered highly efficient, highly flexible "industrial districts" based on networks of collaboration among workers and small entrepreneurs. Far from being paleoindustrial anachronisms, these dense interpersonal and interorganizational networks undergird ultramodern industries, from the high tech of Silicon Valley to the high fashion of Benetton. The norms and networks of civic engagement also powerfully affect the performance of representative government. That, at least, was the central conclusion of my own 20-year, quasi-experimental study of subnational governments in different regions of Italy. Although all these regional governments seemed identical on paper, their levels of effectiveness varied dramatically. Systematic inquiry showed that the quality of governance was determined by longstanding traditions of civic engagement (or its absence). Voter turnout, newspaper readership, membership in choral societies and football clubs -- these were the hallmarks of a successful region. In fact, historical analysis suggested that these networks of organized reciprocity and civic solidarity...
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    Recently, scholars tested how digital media use for informational purposes similarly contributes to foster democratic processes and the creation of social capital. Nevertheless, in the context of today's socially-networked-society and the rise of social media applications (i.e., Facebook) new perspectives need to be considered. Based on U.S. national data, results show that after controlling for demographic variables, traditional media use offline and online, political constructs (knowledge and efficacy), and frequency and size of political discussion networks, seeking information via social network sites is a positive and significant predictor of people's social capital and civic and political participatory behaviors, online and offline.
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    Online social networking is a pervasive but empirically understudied phenomenon. Strong public opinions on its consequences exist but are backed up by little empirical evidence and almost no causally conclusive, experimental research. The current study tested the psychological effects of posting status updates on Facebook using an experimental design. For 1 week, participants in the experimental condition were asked to post more than they usually do, whereas participants in the control condition received no instructions. Participants added a lab “Research Profile” as a Facebook friend allowing for the objective documentation of protocol compliance, participants’ status updates, and friends’ responses. Results revealed (1) that the experimentally induced increase in status updating activity reduced loneliness, (2) that the decrease in loneliness was due to participants feeling more connected to their friends on a daily basis, and (3) that the effect of posting on loneliness was independent of direct social feedback (i.e., responses) by friends.
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    This study assesses whether Facebook users have different ‘connection strategies,’ a term which describes a suite of Facebook-related relational communication activities, and explores the relationship between these connection strategies and social capital. Survey data (N = 450) from a random sample of undergraduate students reveal that only social information-seeking behaviors contribute to perceptions of social capital; connection strategies that focus on strangers or close friends do not. We also find that reporting more ‘actual’ friends on the site is predictive of social capital, but only to a point. We believe the explanation for these findings may be that the identity information in Facebook serves as a social lubricant, encouraging individuals to convert latent to weak ties and enabling them to broadcast requests for support or information.
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    This study examined the relationship between three of the “Big Five” traits (neuroticism, extraversion, and openness), self-esteem, loneliness and narcissism, and Facebook use. Participants were 393 first year undergraduate psychology students from a medium-sized Australian university who completed an online questionnaire. Negative binomial regression models showed that students with higher openness levels reported spending more time on Facebook and having more friends on Facebook. Interestingly, students with higher levels of loneliness reported having more Facebook friends. Extraversion, neuroticism, self-esteem and narcissism did not have significant associations with Facebook use. It was concluded that students who are high in openness use Facebook to connect with others in order to discuss a wide range of interests, whereas students who are high in loneliness use the site to compensate for their lack of offline relationships.
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    Although loneliness is a normative experience, there is reason to be concerned about children who are chronically lonely in school. Research indicates that children have a fundamental understanding of what it means to be lonely, and that loneliness can be reliably measured in children. Most of the research on loneliness in children has focused on the contributions of children's peer relations to their feelings of well-being at school. Loneliness in children is influenced by how well accepted they are by peers, whether they are overtly victimized, whether they have friends, and the durability and quality of their best friendships. Findings from this emerging area of research provide a differentiated picture of how children's peer experiences come to influence their emotional well-being.
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    Participants in social network sites create self-descriptive profiles that include their links to other members, creating a visible network of connections — the ostensible purpose of these sites is to use this network to make friends, dates, and business connections. In this paper we explore the social implications of the public display of one's social network. Why do people display their social connections in everyday life, and why do they do so in these networking sites? What do people learn about another's identity through the signal of network display? How does this display facilitate connections, and how does it change the costs and benefits of making and brokering such connections compared to traditional means? The paper includes several design recommendations for future networking sites.
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    This article is concerned with measures of fit of a model. Two types of error involved in fitting a model are considered. The first is error of approximation which involves the fit of the model, with optimally chosen but unknown parameter values, to the population covariance matrix. The second is overall error which involves the fit of the model, with parameter values estimated from the sample, to the population covariance matrix. Measures of the two types of error are proposed and point and interval estimates of the measures are suggested. These measures take the number of parameters in the model into account in order to avoid penalizing parsimonious models. Practical difficulties associated with the usual tests of exact fit or a model are discussed and a test of “close fit” of a model is suggested.
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    This article explores the relationship between Internet use and the individual-level production of social capital. To do so, the authors adopt a motivational perspective to distinguish among types of Internet use when examining the factors predicting civic engagement, interpersonal trust, and life contentment. The predictive power of new media use is then analyzed relative to key demographic, contextual, and tradi- tional media use variables using the 1999 DDB Life Style Study. Although the size of associations is generally small, the data suggest that informational uses of the Internet are positively related to individual differences in the production of social capital, whereas social-recreational uses are negatively related to these civic indicators. Analyses within subsamples defined by generational age breaks further suggest that social capital production is related to Internet use among Generation X, while it is tied to television use among Baby Boomers and newspaper use among members of the Civic Generation. The possibility of life cycle and cohort effects is discussed.
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    The statistical tests used in the analysis of structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error are examined. A drawback of the commonly applied chi square test, in addition to the known problems related to sample size and power, is that it may indicate an increasing correspondence between the hypothesized model and the observed data as both the measurement properties and the relationship between constructs decline. Further, and contrary to common assertion, the risk of making a Type II error can be substantial even when the sample size is large. Moreover, the present testing methods are unable to assess a model's explanatory power. To overcome these problems, the authors develop and apply a testing system based on measures of shared variance within the structural model, measurement model, and overall model.
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    With over 800 million active users, Facebook is changing the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another and share information. A rapidly growing body of research has accompanied the meteoric rise of Facebook as social scientists assess the impact of Facebook on social life. In addition, researchers have recognized the utility of Facebook as a novel tool to observe behavior in a naturalistic setting, test hypotheses, and recruit participants. However, research on Facebook emanates from a wide variety of disciplines, with results being published in a broad range of journals and conference proceedings, making it difficult to keep track of various findings. And because Facebook is a relatively recent phenomenon, uncertainty still exists about the most effective ways to do Facebook research. To address these issues, the authors conducted a comprehensive literature search, identifying 412 relevant articles, which were sorted into 5 categories: descriptive analysis of users, motivations for using Facebook, identity presentation, the role of Facebook in social interactions, and privacy and information disclosure. The literature review serves as the foundation from which to assess current findings and offer recommendations to the field for future research on Facebook and online social networks more broadly. © The Author(s) 2012.
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    Reviews the literature since 1967 on subjective well-being (SWB [including happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect]) in 3 areas: measurement, causal factors, and theory. Most measures of SWB correlate moderately with each other and have adequate temporal reliability and internal consistency; the global concept of happiness is being replaced with more specific and well-defined concepts, and measuring instruments are being developed with theoretical advances; multi-item scales are promising but need adequate testing. SWB is probably determined by a large number of factors that can be conceptualized at several levels of analysis, and it may be unrealistic to hope that a few variables will be of overwhelming importance. Several psychological theories related to happiness have been proposed; they include telic, pleasure and pain, activity, top–down vs bottom–up, associanistic, and judgment theories. It is suggested that there is a great need to more closely connect theory and research. (7 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
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    Social cognitive theory provides an agentic conceptual framework within which to analyze the determinants and psychosocial mechanisms through which symbolic communication influences human thought, affect and action. Communications systems operate through two pathways. In the direct pathway, they promote changes by informing, enabling, motivating, and guiding participants. In the socially mediated pathway, media influences link participants to social networks and community settings that provide natural incentives and continued personalized guidance, for desired change. Social cognitive theory analyzes social diffusion of new styles of behavior in terms of the psychosocial factors governing their acquisition and adoption and the social networks through which they spread and are supported. Structural interconnectedness provides potential diffusion paths; sociocognitive factors largely determine what diffuses through those paths.
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    How Internet and mobile phone use is related to network size and diversity Evidence from the US General Social Surveys (GSS) suggests that during the past 20 years, people have become increasingly socially isolated and their core discussion networks have become smaller and less diverse. One explanation offered for this trend is the use of mobile phones and the Internet. This study reports on the findings of a 2008 survey that replicates and expands on the GSS network methodology to explore the relationship between the use of new technologies and the size and diver-sity of core networks. The findings conflict with the results of the 2004 GSS, i.e. we find that social isolation has not increased since 1985. However, the current study supports the conclusions that the size of core networks has declined and the number of nonkin in core networks has diminished. Mobile phone and Internet use, especially specific uses of social media, were found to have a positive relationship to network size and diversity. In discussing these trends, we speculate that specific social media provide for a 'pervasive awareness' within personal networks that has increased the specialization of close ties. We argue that this same pervasive awareness provides for heightened surveillance of network members, the result of which is a higher level of perceived diversity within networks based on metrics that include political affiliation. People are increasingly socially isolated. The size of core networks has declined and these relations are increasingly composed of similar others. A likely culprit, for this unexpected change in the structure of affiliation, is the rise of the Internet
  • Article
    To evaluate the association between social networking site (SNS) use and depression in older adolescents using an experience sample method (ESM) approach. Older adolescent university students completed an online survey containing the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 depression screen (PHQ) and a weeklong ESM data collection period to assess SNS use. Participants (N = 190) included in the study were 58% female and 91% Caucasian. The mean age was 18.9 years (standard deviation = .8). Most used SNSs for either <30 minutes (n = 100, 53%) or between 30 minutes and 2 hours (n = 74, 39%); a minority of participants reported daily use of SNS >2 hours (n = 16, 8%). The mean PHQ score was 5.4 (standard deviation = 4.2). No associations were seen between SNS use and either any depression (p = .519) or moderate to severe depression (p = .470). We did not find evidence supporting a relationship between SNS use and clinical depression. Counseling patients or parents regarding the risk of "Facebook Depression" may be premature.
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    Measurement invariance is usually tested using Multigroup Confirmatory Factor Analysis, which examines the change in the goodness-of-fit index (GFI) when cross-group constraints are imposed on a measurement model. Although many studies have examined the properties of GFI as indicators of overall model fit for single-group data, there have been none to date that examine how GFIs change when between-group constraints are added to a measurement model. The lack of a consensus about what constitutes significant GFI differences places limits on measurement invariance testing. We examine 20 GFIs based on the minimum fit function. A simulation under the two-group situation was used to examine changes in the GFIs (ΔGFIs) when invariance constraints were added. Based on the results, we recommend using Δcomparative fit index, ΔGamma hat, and ΔMcDonald's Noncentrality Index to evaluate measurement invariance. These three ΔGFIs are independent of both model complexity and sample size, and are not correlated with the overall fit measures. We propose critical values of these ΔGFIs that indicate measurement invariance.
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    This study examined college students' use of online media for political purposes in the 2008 election. Social media attention, online expression, and traditional Internet attention were assessed in relation to political self-efficacy and situational political involvement. Data from a Web survey of college students showed significant positive relationships between attention to traditional Internet sources and political self-efficacy and situational political involvement. Attention to social media was not significantly related to political self-efficacy or involvement. Online expression was significantly related to situational political involvement but not political self-efficacy. Implications are discussed for political use of online media for young adults.
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    W. Wilson's (1967) review of the area of subjective well-being (SWB) advanced several conclusions regarding those who report high levels of "happiness." A number of his conclusions have been overturned: youth and modest aspirations no longer are seen as prerequisites of SWB. E. Diener's (1984) review placed greater emphasis on theories that stressed psychological factors. In the current article, the authors review current evidence for Wilson's conclusions and discuss modern theories of SWB that stress dispositional influences, adaptation, goals, and coping strategies. The next steps in the evolution of the field are to comprehend the interaction of psychological factors with life circumstances in producing SWB, to understand the causal pathways leading to happiness, understand the processes underlying adaptation to events, and develop theories that explain why certain variables differentially influence the different components of SWB (life satisfaction, pleasant affect, and unpleasant affect). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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    Describes the author's experience in research on loneliness and speculates about directions that the field might take in the future. It is argued that insufficient attention is being directed toward the nature of loneliness and its subcategories: loneliness stemming from emotional isolation and loneliness resulting from social isolation or the absence of community. Problems with definitions of loneliness are discussed; they do not seem sufficiently sensitive to loneliness's status as a real phenomenon. The functioning of the attachment system in children and adults also requires further study, as do the modifications that this system (which links infants to parent figures) undergoes during adolescence. The need to define attachment figures is considered, and it is suggested that they are security-providing figures with perceptual and emotional linkages to an individual. Implications for social-psychological and sociobiological/biochemical research programs are examined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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    A survey with 172 students was conducted at a large southern research university to examine how unwillingness-to-communicate in interpersonal communication influences gratifications sought and gratifications obtained from Facebook use. The study investigated the relationship between two dimensions of unwillingness-to-communicate (approach-avoidance and reward) and different motives of Facebook use. In addition, it examined the relationship between unwillingness-to-communicate and the behavioral and attitudinal outcomes of Facebook use (e.g., the number of hours spent on Facebook, duration of use, the number of Facebook friends, satisfaction with Facebook). Results of multiple regression analysis revealed that respondents who felt anxiety and fears in their face-to-face communication used Facebook to pass time and feel less lonely more than other respondents, but they had fewer Facebook friends. Overall, this paper finds evidence that people who are involved in online relationships are those who are willing to communicate in real life, rather than the opposite. Such results seem to justify the rich-get-richer hypothesis, which states that the internet primarily benefits extraverted individuals. Our results are in contrast to findings that socially anxious individuals are more likely to form relationships online. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    This essay is a critical review of the broad research literature on social support. The nature of support is explicated and findings from studies of diverse populations are considered for understanding the role of communication in the support process. Uncertainty reduction theory is discussed as an emergent theoretical foundation for explaining the sources/providers, function, and network structure of supportive communication. The paper includes hypotheses for future research and a review of some central dilemmas of supportive relationships.
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    The attitudinal or behavioral outcomes of media use can be expected to influence selection of and attention to media content. This process can be conceptualized in terms of mutually reinforcing spirals akin to positive feedback loops in general systems theory. This reinforcing spirals perspective highlights the need for longitudinal modeling of mutually influencing media selection and effects processes; study of the impact of such processes in youth and adolescent identity development, and analysis of social and psychological factors that control, dampen, or eventually extinguish the influence of such spirals. This perspective may also, more speculatively, be extended to address the maintenance of social identity for political, religious, and lifestyle groups. The relevance of a reinforcing spirals model to theories including spiral of silence, agenda-setting, framing, cultivation, selective attention, and uses and gratifications is also discussed.
  • Article
    A longitudinal analysis of panel data from users of a popular online social network site, Facebook, investigated the relationship between intensity of Facebook use, measures of psychological well-being, and bridging social capital. Two surveys conducted a year apart at a large U.S. university, complemented with in-depth interviews with 18 Facebook users, provide the study data. Intensity of Facebook use in year one strongly predicted bridging social capital outcomes in year two, even after controlling for measures of self-esteem and satisfaction with life. These latter psychological variables were also strongly associated with social capital outcomes. Self-esteem served to moderate the relationship between Facebook usage intensity and bridging social capital: those with lower self-esteem gained more from their use of Facebook in terms of bridging social capital than higher self-esteem participants. We suggest that Facebook affordances help reduce barriers that lower self-esteem students might experience in forming the kinds of large, heterogeneous networks that are sources of bridging social capital.
  • Article
    Kraut et al. (1998) reported negative effects of using the Internet on social involvement and psychological well-being among new Internet users in 1995–96. We called the effects a “paradox” because participants used the Internet heavily for communication, which generally has positive effects. A 3-year follow-up of 208 of these respondents found that negative effects dissipated. We also report findings from a longitudinal survey in 1998–99 of 406 new computer and television purchasers. This sample generally experienced positive effects of using the Internet on communication, social involvement, and well-being. However, consistent with a “rich get richer” model, using the Internet predicted better outcomes for extraverts and those with more social support but worse outcomes for introverts and those with less support.
  • Article
    This study examines if Facebook, one of the most popular social network sites among college students in the U.S., is related to attitudes and behaviors that enhance individuals' social capital. Using data from a random web survey of college students across Texas (n = 2,603), we find positive relationships between intensity of Facebook use and students' life satisfaction, social trust, civic engagement, and political participation. While these findings should ease the concerns of those who fear that Facebook has mostly negative effects on young adults, the positive and significant associations between Facebook variables and social capital were small, suggesting that online social networks are not the most effective solution for youth disengagement from civic duty and democracy.
  • Article
    Although it is increasingly obvious that the Internet is changing human life; the details of this change are not yet clear. A major debate in current literature involves the capacity of the Internet to enhance social capital and wellbeing in old age. In this regard, the present study attempts to investigate the relationships between Internet use and older people’s social capital and wellbeing. An online survey was conducted at the University of Sydney. 222 seniors responded to the survey. The measures used included a wide range of instruments related to the Internet use, social capital and wellbeing. Respondents used the Internet for various purposes, including seeking information, entertainment, commerce, communication, and finding new people. The main findings of the study were that the relationships between Internet use, social capital and wellbeing is a complex construct and the Internet has different effects on social capital and wellbeing resulting from different use of this technology. The study results revealed that the Internet is a 2-edged sword with the ability to both harm and help. According to the findings of this study, using the Internet can be helpful for older adults if they are aware how they use it.
  • Article
    A perceived availability of social support measure (the ISEL) was designed with independent subscales measuring four separate support functions. In a sample of college students, both perceived availability of social support and number of positive events moderated the relationship between negative life stress and depressive and physical symptomatology. In the case of depressive symptoms, the data fit a “buffering” hypothesis pattern, i.e., they suggest that both social support and positive events protect one from the pathogenic effects of high levels of life stress but are relatively unimportant for those with low levels of stress. In the case of physical symptoms, the data only partially support the buffering hypothesis. Particularly, the data suggest that both social support and positive events protect one from the pathogenic effects of high levels of stress but harm those (i.e., are associated with increased symptomatology) with low levels of stress. Further analyses suggest that self-esteem and appraisal support were primarily responsible for the reported interactions between negative life stress and social support. In contrast, frequency of past social support was not an effective life stress buffer in either the case of depressive or physical symptomatology. Moreover, past support frequency was positively related to physical symptoms and unrelated to depressive symptoms, while perceived availability of support was negatively related to depressive symptoms and unrelated to physical symptoms.
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    The concept of happiness has been mistakenly identified with feelings of pleasure in recent studies of quality of life. This paper clarifies the meaning of the concept happiness and establishes grounds for its proper use in scholarly research. In addition, an empirical test of four major accounts of happiness derived from a careful review of philosophical and empirical literature is undertaken to propose a theory of happiness. The theory suggests that happiness is primarily a product of the positive assessments of life situations and favorable comparisons of these life situations with those of others and in the past. The various personal characteristics of an individual and the resources in his command, such as sex, age and income, influence happiness mostly through their effects upon the two psychological processess of assessment and comparison.
  • Article
    Loneliness has been associated with increased Internet use. Lonely individuals may be drawn online because of the increased potential for companionship, the changed social interaction patterns online, and as a way to modulate negative moods associated with loneliness. Online, social presence and intimacy levels can be controlled; users can remain invisible as they observe others’ interactions, and can control the amount and timing of their interactions. Anonymity and lack of face-to-face communication online may decrease self-consciousness and social anxiety, which could facilitate pro-social behavior and enhance online friendship formation. Support for this model was found in a survey of 277 undergraduate Internet users that was used to assess differences between lonely and not-lonely individuals in patterns of Internet use. Loneliness was assessed on the UCLA Loneliness Scale; students in the highest 20% (Lonely) were compared with all other students (Non-lonely). Lonely individuals used the Internet and e-mail more and were more likely to use the Internet for emotional support than others. Social behavior of lonely individuals consistently was enhanced online, and lonely individuals were more likely to report making online friends and heightened satisfaction with their online friends. The lonely were more likely to use the Internet to modulate negative moods, and to report that their Internet use was causing disturbances in their daily functioning.
  • Article
    This paper reviews recent research that indicates the importance of differentiating subtypes of depression based on two types of experiences that lead individuals to become depressed: (a) disruptions of interpersonal relations and (b) threats to self-integrity and self-esteem. We review research with clinical and nonclinical samples that investigated the relationships of these distinctions to the quality of current interpersonal relationships and to differential sensitivity to various types of stressful life events, as well as to aspects of early life experiences, especially the quality of the parent-child relationship. We also evaluate research evidence that considers the role of these two dimensions in clinical depression. In addition to proposing an etiologic model about aspects of the onset and recurrence of depression based on the interaction between personality predispositions and types of stressful life events, we place these observations about depression in a broad theoretical context of contemporary personality theory which defines two primary dimensions of personality development and psychopathology.
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    This study examines the relationship between use of Facebook, a popular online social network site, and the formation and maintenance of social capital. In addition to assessing bonding and bridging social capital, we explore a dimension of social capital that assesses one's ability to stay connected with members of a previously inhabited community, which we call maintained social capital. Regression analyses conducted on results from a survey of undergraduate students (N=286) suggest a strong association between use of Facebook and the three types of social capital, with the strongest relationship being to bridging social capital. In addition, Facebook usage was found to interact with measures of psychological well-being, suggesting that it might provide greater benefits for users experiencing low self-esteem and low life satisfaction.
  • Article
    Abstract Social network,sites,(SNSs) are increasingly attracting the attention of academic,and,industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach.,This special theme section of the,Journal,of Computer-Mediated,Communicationbrings ,together scholarship on these emergent phenomena.,In this introductory article, we describe features of SNSs and propose a comprehensive definition. We then present one perspective on the history of such sites, discussing key changes and developments. After briefly summarizing existing scholarship concerning SNSs, we discuss the articles,in this special section and conclude with considerations for future,research.
  • Article
    The aim of this study was to contrast the validity of two opposing explanatory hypotheses about the effect of online communication on adolescents’ well-being. The displacement hypothesis predicts that online communication reduces adolescents’ well-being because it displaces time spent with existing friends, thereby reducing the quality of these friendships. In contrast, the stimulation hypothesis states that online communication stimulates well-being via its positive effect on time spent with existing friends and the quality of these friendships. We conducted an online survey among 1,210 Dutch teenagers between 10 and 17 years of age. Using mediation analyses, we found support for the stimulation hypothesis but not for the displacement hypothesis. We also found a moderating effect of type of online communication on adolescents’ well-being: Instant messaging, which was mostly used to communicate with existing friends, positively predicted well-being via the mediating variables (a) time spent with existing friends and (b) the quality of these friendships. Chat in a public chatroom, which was relatively often used to talk with strangers, had no effect on adolescents’ well-being via the mediating variables.
  • Article
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    A central feature of the online social networking system, Facebook, is the connection to and links among friends. The sum of the number of one's friends is a feature displayed on users' profiles as a vestige of the friend connections a user has accrued. In contrast to offline social networks, individuals in online network systems frequently accrue friends numbering several hundred. The uncertain meaning of friend status in these systems raises questions about whether and how sociometric popularity conveys attractiveness in non-traditional, non-linear ways. An experiment examined the relationship between the number of friends a Facebook profile featured and observers' ratings of attractiveness and extraversion. A curvilinear effect of sociometric popularity and social attractiveness emerged, as did a quartic relationship between friend count and perceived extraversion. These results suggest that an overabundance of friend connections raises doubts about Facebook users' popularity and desirability.
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    Scholars investigating the relationship between the Internet and social capital have been stymied by a series of obstacles, some due to theoretical frameworks handed down unchanged from television research, and some due to the lack of an appropriate yardstick. For example, the social interactions that occur through television are prima facie different from those that occur online. Given this basic functional difference, we cannot approach social capital research in an online era with the same set of assumptions and measures. To address this gap in the literature and in our measurement toolkits, this article reports on the development and validation of the Internet Social Capital Scales, or ISCS. These scales are intended to measure two different types of social capital—known as “bridging” and “bonding”—for both online and offline contexts. Question items are developed and tested and found to be valid and psychometrically sound. Potential uses of the scales are then discussed.
  • Article
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    This study investigates self-presentation strategies among online dating participants, exploring how participants manage their online presentation of self in order to accomplish the goal of finding a romantic partner. Thirty-four individuals active on a large online dating site participated in telephone interviews about their online dating experiences and perceptions. Qualitative data analysis suggests that participants attended to small cues online, mediated the tension between impression management pressures and the desire to present an authentic sense of self through tactics such as creating a profile that reflected their “ideal self,” and attempted to establish the veracity of their identity claims. This study provides empirical support for Social Information Processing theory in a naturalistic context while offering insight into the complicated way in which “honesty” is enacted online.
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    The global use of online communities has exploded to involve hundreds of millions of users. Despite the tremendous social impact and business opportunities afforded by these communities, little information systems (IS) research has addressed them - especially in a cross-cultural context. Our research proposes an online community self-disclosure model, tested in a cross-cultural setting using data provided by French and British working professionals. Our model is based on social exchange theory (SET) and social penetration theory (SPT), as well as on cross-cultural theory related to individualism-collectivism. SET explains that individuals engage in relationships when the perceived costs associated with the relationship are less than the expected benefits. SPT extends SET to explain that individuals participate in self-disclosure to foster relationships - reciprocation is the primary benefit of self-disclosure, whereas risk is the foundational cost of self-disclosure. Our study established several important findings: Positive social influence to use an online community increases online community self-disclosure; reciprocity increases self-disclosure; online community trust increases self-disclosure; and privacy risk beliefs decrease self-disclosure. Meanwhile, a tendency toward collectivism increases self-disclosure. We further found that French participants had higher scores on horizontal individualism than British participants. Several other findings and their implications for practice are also discussed.
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    This paper offers a descriptive account of Twitter (a micro-blogging service) across four high profile, mass convergence events—two emergency and two national security. We statistically examine how Twitter is being used surrounding these events, and compare and contrast how that behavior is different from more general Twitter use. Our findings suggest that Twitter messages sent during these types of events contain more displays of information broadcasting and brokerage, and we observe that general Twitter use seems to have evolved over time to offer more of an information-sharing purpose. We also provide preliminary evidence that Twitter users who join during and in apparent relation to a mass convergence or emergency event are more likely to become long-term adopters of the technology.
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    A growing number of sociologists, political scientists, economists, and organizational theorists have invoked the concept of social capital in the search for answers to a broadening range of questions being confronted in their own fields. Seeking to clarify the concept and help assess its utility for organizational theory, we synthesize the theoretical research undertaken in these various disciplines and develop a common conceptual framework that identifies the sources, benefits, risks, and contingencies of social capital.