HCIL-2013-26

Examining social adjustment to college in the age of social media: Factors influencing successful transitions and persistence
Gray, R., Vitak, J., Easton, E., Ellison, N.
2013
Computers & Education, 67, 193-207. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2013.02.02
HCIL-2013-26
Social adjustment plays a critical role in student persistence at college. Social media such as Facebook, used widely by this population, have the potential to positively enhance students' transition to college by encouraging connection and interaction among peers. The present study examines the role Facebook plays in students' social adjustment during their first year of college using survey data (N = 338) collected from students at a private, liberal arts college in the Midwest. We develop and test a model that includes both traditional and Facebook-specific predictors of social support and social adjustment, as well as explore the role that these factors play in predicting students' enrollment status the following year. Results indicate positive relationships between two Facebook variables the number of Facebook Friends students have at the college and their engagement in collaborative behaviors with classmates through the site and measures of social support and social adjustment, as well as a positive relationship between social adjustment and persistence at the university.
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