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Motives for Using Facebook, Patterns of Facebook Activities, and Late Adolescents’ Social Adjustment to College

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Abstract

Previous studies have confirmed that Facebook, the leading social networking site among young people, facilitates social connections among college students, but the specific activities and motives that foster social adjustment remain unclear. This study examined associations between patterns of Facebook activity, motives for using Facebook, and late adolescents’ social adjustment to the college environment. Anonymous self-report survey data from 193 mostly European American students (M age = 20.32; 54 % female) attending a major Midwestern university indicated that motives and activity patterns were associated directly with social adjustment, but the association between one activity, status updating, and social adjustment also was moderated by the motive of relationship maintenance. Findings provide a more comprehensive portrait of how Facebook use may foster or inhibit social adjustment in college.

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Acknowledgments

C-cY conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, collected data, performed most of the statistical analyses, interpreted the results, and drafted the manuscript; BBB participated in the design and coordination of the study, performed statistical analyses, interpreted the results, and critically revised the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript. This study was supported by a grant (#1878D41) to the second author from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest with the sponsoring organization.

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Correspondence to Chia-chen Yang.

Appendix

Appendix

Motive Items

  1. a.

    To avoid drifting apart from the friends I knew before college*

  2. b.

    Connect with someone I’ve met since college

  3. c.

    To know what’s going on in others’ lives*

  4. d.

    It’s enjoyable

  5. e.

    To let others know more about me*

  6. f.

    To communicate with my romantic partner*

  7. g.

    Develop a romantic relationship

  8. h.

    To see which of the people I know joined Facebook*

  9. i.

    Get in touch with someone I met at social events

  10. j.

    It’s entertaining*

  11. k.

    Check out someone I might want to know better

  12. l.

    Know who is friends with whom

  13. m.

    Find more interesting people than in real life

  14. n.

    Find out more about someone I’ve just met

  15. o.

    Get information about social events*

  16. p.

    Keep in touch with my friends

  17. q.

    Meet new friends

  18. r.

    Stay connected with my college friends

  19. s.

    Present myself to others in the way I want them to see me

  20. t.

    Get through to someone who is hard to reach*

Note. Items with the asterisk (*) were not retained.

Activity Items

  1. a.

    Posted on other people’s walls

  2. b.

    Checked out people’s walls without leaving a message

  3. c.

    Sent an inbox message

  4. d.

    Commented on others’ photos

  5. e.

    Changed your profile photo*

  6. f.

    Uploaded new photos*

  7. g.

    Checked out people’s photos without leaving comments

  8. h.

    Updated your “what’s on your mind?”

  9. i.

    Commented on others’ “what’s on your mind?”

  10. j.

    Super-poked others*

  11. k.

    Checked out news feed

  12. l.

    Facebook Chatted with others

  13. m.

    Became a fan of someone/something*

  14. n.

    Posted a note on your profile*

  15. o.

    Joined a group*

  16. p.

    Posted a link*

  17. q.

    Replied to others’ comments on your profile photo, new photos, fan status, “what’s on your mind” status, group status, notes, and links

  18. r.

    Checked out people’s notes, links, and various status without leaving comments

  19. s.

    Played games on Facebook

  20. t.

    Took quizzes on Facebook*

Note. Items with the asterisk (*) were excluded from regression analyses.

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Yang, Cc., Brown, B.B. Motives for Using Facebook, Patterns of Facebook Activities, and Late Adolescents’ Social Adjustment to College. J Youth Adolescence 42, 403–416 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-012-9836-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-012-9836-x

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