LONELINESS, ANXIOUSNESS, ALCOHOL, AND MARIJUANA USE: EXAMINING THE PREDICTORS OF FACEBOOK CONNECTIONS AND EMOTIONAL CONNECTEDNESS TO FACEBOOK AMONGST COLLEGE FRESHMEN
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The study examined the relationships between health behaviors and coping mechanisms in predicting whether students connect on the social network site Facebook, and students’ emotional connectedness to Facebook. A survey of 229 respondents was conducted at a large southern research university to examine these relationships. The respondents consisted of students whom were currently freshmen residing in university dormitories, and had an active Facebook account. The study examined the predictor variables: loneliness, anxiousness, alcohol use, and marijuana use in relation to the Facebook Connections Strategies scale (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007) and the Facebook Intensity scale (FBI; Ellison et al., 2007). The four predictor variables were examined using a linear regression model for each criterion variable. After examining the omnibus F-score, the beta weights were examined to determine statistical significance. The study found significant relationships between the predictor variables and criteria variables. Results showed that high levels of overall anxiousness, overall alcohol use, and overall marijuana use predicted how emotionally attached participants feel to Facebook. Lastly, high levels of loneliness and overall anxiousness predicted individuals’ use of Facebook to connect with others.