The purpose of this qualitative descriptive research study was to explore how college students describe the influence Christian faith sharing through social media has on their thoughts and behavior at a private, faith-based institution in the Midwestern United States. Bandura’s social learning theory served as a lens to analyze the data. The sample consisted of 21 students, 15 of whom participated in an interview and 6 in focus groups, with thematic analysis used in data analysis. The first research question asked how college students describe the influence Christian faith sharing through social media has on their thoughts. Three themes summarize the data to answer this question: college students describe the message contents and delivery methods as having an influence on their thoughts and emotions, Christian faith sharing through social media has both a positive and negative influence on college students' thoughts and emotions based on their perception of the posts, and Christian hypocrites negatively influence college students’ thoughts and emotions. The second research question asked how college students describe the influence that Christian faith sharing through social media has on their behavior. These three themes describe the students’ behavioral changes: positive psychological and spiritual thoughts produce positive interpersonal and spiritual behaviors, negative thoughts and emotions typically decrease interpersonal interactions but also prompt negative or positive behaviors, and thinking changes produce greater behavioral changes than college students typically recognize. Christians hoping to positively influence college students should glean from these themes and underlying data to more effectively and less offensively share their faith.
|Commitee:||Kaplan, Jeffrey, Morrow, Shad|
|School:||Grand Canyon University|
|Department:||College of Doctoral Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social psychology, Religion, Web Studies|
|Keywords:||Behavior, Christianity, Evangelism, Outreach, Psychology, Social networking sites|
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