Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

International Students' Use of Social Networking Sites: A Study of Usage, Social Connectedness, and Acculturative Stress
by Fread, Danica, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2014, 52; 1561065
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated the relationships between international students' use of social networking sites (SNS), their acculturative stress and social connectedness. A survey was conducted among 63 international students who attended a rural, Midwestern University in the United States. To keep in contact with individuals from their home country and individuals in the U.S., international students reported using both U.S.-based SNS such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as SNS geared towards their home countries, such as Weibo and WeChat. Positive correlations were found between Guilt and Culture Shock, Culture Shock and Homesickness, Guilt and Homesickness, Guilt and Perceived Hatred, Culture Shock and Perceived Hatred, Perceived Discrimination and Perceived Hatred, Perceived Discrimination and Culture Shock, and between Perceived Discrimination and Guilt. Hours spent per day on social networking sites was negatively correlated with Perceived Hatred, Guilt and Social Connectedness, but positively correlated with Relationship Maintenance, Social Surveillance, Socializing, Culture Shock and Perceived Discrimination. Social Connectedness was negatively associated with all five components of Acculturative Stress and Social Surveillance, but positively associated with Relationship Maintenance. The findings suggest that international students' SNS use may be associated with their ability to adjust to life in the foreign country and to continue feeling connected to a network of social support. The small sample size and other limitations are discussed, as are the potential implications.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Liu, Min
Commitee: Cheah, Wai Hsien, Nastasia, Sorin
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Speech Communications
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 53/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Web Studies
Keywords: Acculturative stress, Culture shock, International students, Social connectedness, Social support
Publication Number: 1561065
ISBN: 9781321052541
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