Date of Award:

2-2013

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Melanie Domenech-Rodriguez

Abstract

This study was conducted to examine social support in college student populations by way of the popular social networking website, Facebook. Relational regulation theory was used to drive the study as it posits that social support occurs when a person has conversations and/or shared activities with another individual with whom they identify as relationally meaningful. The conversation, activity, and individual are matters of personal taste; thus, this study examined whether Facebook was a good modality for this to occur. Participants were college students attending a predominately White university located in a semirural, western area of the United States. There were 122 participants across three experimental conditions. Data were collected in group format. Participants completed self-report measures, read news stories, completed puzzles as distractor tasks, and in some conditions interacted with their Facebook accounts. Results indicated that individuals receiving relational social support had a higher positive affect (M = 2.76) as compared to individuals who received no social support (M = 1.81) but were expecting it, and individuals who received nonrelational social support (M = 2.06). The difference between the no social support subgroup and the relational social support subgroup was significant, p = .012.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on 3/2013

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