Study: Facebook Helps First-Generation College Students

Facebook and college studentsFacebook connections can help first-generation college applicants believe in their abilities to both apply to school and excel once they’ve enrolled, according to a new study from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

“We are very excited by these findings, because they suggest that the kinds of interactions supported by Facebook and other social media can play a role in helping young people, especially those who are traditionally less likely to go to college, feel more confident about their ability to get into college and to succeed there,” said Nicole Ellison, associate professor at the U-M School of Information.

First-generation applicants might not come into contact on a daily basis with people who support their interest in college or who can answer questions about it, Ellison said.

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Facebook is for drunk, stressed young adults

Russell Clayton, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, has found that anxiety and alcohol use significantly predict the emotional connectedness college students experience toward Facebook

Russell Clayton, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, has found that anxiety and alcohol use significantly predict the emotional connectedness college students experience toward Facebook

With nearly one billion users worldwide, Facebook has become a daily activity for hundreds of millions of people. Because so many people engage with the website daily, researchers are interested in how emotionally involved Facebook users become with the social networking site and the precursors that lead to Facebook connections with other people. Russell Clayton, now a doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found that anxiety and alcohol use significantly predict emotional connectedness to Facebook.

Clayton’s master’s thesis, conducted under the supervision of Randall Osborne, Brian Miller, and Crystal Oberle of Texas State University, surveyed more than 225 college freshmen students concerning their perceived levels of loneliness, anxiousness, alcohol use, and marijuana use in the prediction of emotional connectedness to Facebook and Facebook connections. They found that students who reported higher levels of anxiousness and alcohol use appeared to be more emotionally connected with the social networking site. Clayton and his colleagues also found that students who reported higher levels of loneliness and anxiousness use Facebook as a platform to connect with others. [Read more…]

Digital Dependence of Today’s College Students Revealed in New Study

Findings show college students feel helpless without technology—checking their devices at least every 10 minutes and foregoing face time for Facebook®

CourseSmart™ and Wakefield Research recently completed a survey of more than 500 currently enrolled college students, providing insight on how mobile devices and technology have changed the traditional college experience and the role technology plays in students’ academic abilities and success. Today’s students are truly carrying a digital backpack with nearly a quarter (27%) of students surveyed listing their laptop as the most important item in their bag—almost three times the number of students who chose textbooks (10%).

The findings further reveal that students are completely dependent on technologies—eReaders, Smartphones, laptops and more—to get through their daily college routine. Nearly all of the students surveyed (98%) own a digital device. And 38% of students surveyed said that they could not go more than 10 minutes without checking in with their tech device—about the same amount of time it takes to walk to class. Largely based on the fact that technology helps students learn more efficiently, 85% of students reported that technology saves them time when studying—an average of two hours per day.

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