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Student Research Projects

Social Networking: A Study of How Frequent Twitter Use Could Lead to Higher Levels of Anxiety in Undergraduate College Students

Student Amari Agee ’15, Isaac Arrington '15, Aoife Branco '15, Cortnee Brandon '15, Khedejah Been '15
Faculty Mentor(s) Dr. Lisa Payne
Department Communication
Course Communication 331: Research Methods in Communication

Abstract

Twitter is a Social Networking Site (SNS) that is increasingly popular among college students since its creation. Because there is a lack of scholarly knowledge about Twitter, it is important to better understand this medium and the effects it has on its users. The present study’s aim was to understand how active and frequent Twitter use could impact anxiety levels. Participants were undergraduate students who were determined as active (n=50) or passive (n=43) Twitter users. Active Twitter users did not have significantly higher anxiety levels than passive Twitter users. The same participants were also determined as partaking in frequent (n=15) or not frequent (n=79) Twitter use. Frequent Twitter users also did not have significantly higher anxiety levels than the infrequent Twitter users. A one-way ANOVA analysis revealed significantly higher anxiety levels among participants who are frustrated when they cannot access Twitter and among participants who use Twitter to keep updated with popular news. The findings suggest that inaccessibility and motivations for using Twitter could contribute to everyday stressors in students’ lives.

Awards

Project took 3rd place at VWC's annual 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium, Division of the Humanities.

 

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