A deeper look into the complex relationship between social media use and academic outcomes and attitudes

Martin D. Hassell, Mary F. Sukalich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction. The use of social media is prevalent among college students, and it is important to understand how social media use may impact students' attitudes and behaviour. Prior studies have shown negative outcomes of social media use, but researchers have not fully discovered or fully understand the processes and implications of these negative effects. This research provides additional scientific knowledge by focussing on mediators of social media use and controlling for key confounding variables. Method. Surveys that captured social media use, various attitudes about academics and life, and personal characteristics were completed by 234 undergraduate students at a large U.S. university. Analysis. We used covariance-based structural equation modelling to analyse the response data. Results. Results indicated that after controlling for self-regulation, social media use was negatively associated with academic self-efficacy and academic performance. Additionally, academic self-efficacy mediated the negative relationship between social media use and satisfaction with life. Conclusion. There are negative relationships between social media use and academic performance, as well as with academic self-efficacy beliefs. Academic self-efficacy beliefs mediate the negative relationship between social media use and satisfaction with life. These relationships are present even when controlling for individuals' levels of self-regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number742
JournalInformation Research
Volume22
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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