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What You Want vs What You Get: A Study of the Effects of Surplus and Deficit Social Support Gaps in University Student Facebook Use

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abstract
In the fast-paced world of technology in computer-mediated communication, use of social network sites has grown tremendously. University students have gravitated to these sites, especially Facebook for an expanding network of “friends.” However, are university students getting the support they want on Facebook? This research examines and extends the previous scholarly work on unmatched social support gaps to student use of Facebook through the framework of optimal matching. Specifically, this study looks at the effects of surplus and deficit nurturant support gaps (emotional and network), and surplus and deficit action-facilitating support gaps (informational). The effects studied are the negative relational outcomes of perceived stress, social isolation, loneliness, and depression. Also studied are esteem improvement, and the emotions of anger and happiness. Results indicated support for a surplus of action-facilitating support predicted depressive symptoms. Also, although not hypothesized, results indicated negative outcomes of depression and lowered esteem for a surplus of nurturant support. These findings question positive support available for students on Facebook, and suggest use of Facebook to be used not for authentic relationship-building, but for entertainment value.
subject
anger
depression
Facebook
perceived stress
social support gaps
university students
contributor
Holloway, Robin G. (author)
Priem, Jennifer S. (committee chair)
Giles, Steven M. (committee member)
Hamilton, William S. (committee member)
date
2017-06-15T08:36:05Z (accessioned)
2017-06-15T08:36:05Z (available)
2017 (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/82219 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
What You Want vs What You Get: A Study of the Effects of Surplus and Deficit Social Support Gaps in University Student Facebook Use
type
Thesis

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