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Park, N., Kee, K. F., Valenzuela, S. (2009). Is There Social Capital in a Social Network Site?: Facebook Use and College Students' Life Satisfaction, Trust, and Participation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 14 (4), 875-901

This study examines if Facebook, one of the most popular social network sites among college students in the U.S., is related to attitudes and behaviors that enhance individuals' social capital. Using data from a random web survey of college students across Texas (n = 2,603), we find positive relationships between intensity of Facebook use and students' life satisfaction, social trust, civic engagement, and political participation. While these findings should ease the concerns of those who fear that Facebook has mostly negative effects on young adults, the positive and significant associations between Facebook variables and social capital were small, suggesting that online social networks are not the most effective solution for youth disengagement from civic duty and democracy.

Authors

Park, Namsu

Kee, Kerk F.

I research in the areas of emerging technologies & social media, organizational communication, and health dissemination. My recent work appears in journals such as Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CyberPsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking...

Valenzuela, Sebastian

Sebastián Valenzuela (MA, University of Texas at Austin, 2007) is a doctoral candidate in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on public opinion, journalism and the Internet.

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