Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Lynne Cohen

Second Advisor

Dr Cath Ferguson

Abstract

Facebook Usage Predicted by Sense of Community and 'loneliness' Face book is one of a growing number of social networking sites (SNSs) that are currently being used by young adults to compliment face-to-face interactions. The use of these sites raises questions in relation to how their function may be compared to measurements of more traditional communication. This research measured Sense of Community (SoC) and 'loneliness' in young adults in order to predict usage of Facebook. Participants were 154 Facebook users (82% female, mean age 23.66) who completed an online survey with four components (demographics, Facebook usage, SoC Index, and the DeJong Gierveld Loneliness Scale). An analysis ofthe results showed that there was no significant correlation between 'loneliness' and SoC on Facebook. Binary logistic regression found significant negative results for SoC on Facebook from sending 'friend requests' to people seen often and people known through other people, and a significant result using 'loneliness' and the interaction for receiving 'friend requests' known only from the internet. SoC on Facebook also produced a significant negative association for the chi-squared analysis investigating positive and negative value when categorising on-line and off-line relationships. There were some limitations to this research in terms of the questions asked and the sample group. The investigation into 'loneliness' and SoC on Facebook to predict users' interactions on-line and their valuing of on-line and off-line friendships produced mixed results but has provided an opportunity to extend previous research by adding additional information regarding this new social networking medium.

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