Facebook and face-to-face: Examining the short- and long-term reciprocal effects of interactions, perceived social support, and depression among international students

Cherrie Joy Billedo*, Peter Kerkhof, Catrin Finkenauer, Harry Ganzeboom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

We investigated the proposition that among international students, face-to-face (FtF) interaction with the host-country network, and Facebook interaction with the host-and the home-country networks predict perceived social support, which, in turn, predicts psychological adjustment. We tested the model using cross-lagged and non-lagged reciprocal effects path analyses on three-wave panel data gathered via online surveys. The results indicated that whereas FtF interaction with the host-country increased perceived social support in the short-term, Facebook interaction with the host-country lowered perceived social support in the long-term. Perceived social support increased Facebook interaction with the host-country both in the short-and the long-term. At the same time, perceived social support, in the long-term, decreased depressive symptoms. In the short-term, perceived social support and depressive symptoms negatively reinforced each other. Our longitudinal study contributes to existing literature by elucidating the complex interplay of communication channels and their implications on international students’ experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume24
Issue number2
Early online date23 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Face-to-Face (FtF)
  • Facebook
  • International students
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Social Network Sites (SNS)
  • Social support

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