The Influence of Social Media on International Students' Global Life Satisfaction and Academic Performance

The Influence of Social Media on International Students' Global Life Satisfaction and Academic Performance

Neete Saha (Kent State University, USA) and Aryn C. Karpinski (Kent State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9752-2.ch004
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Abstract

Numerous studies have investigated the impact of socialization agents (social media) on domestic university students' academic performance and psychological well-being, while the influence of these agents on the increasing population of international students at universities in the United States (US) remains understudied. The current study examined international students' (N = 331) global satisfaction with life as a mediator in the relationship between general social media use (and Skype™ use) and academic performance. The results indicated that both mediation models were supported. Social media and Skype™ use were positively predictive of satisfaction with life, and there was a positive relationship between satisfaction with life and academic performance. These findings have implications for university staff and administrators who need to be aware of the positive influence social media use has on international students' perceptions of their experiences, which in turn can positively impact their academic performance.
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Introduction

Regardless of the numerous sociological, psychological, and academic challenges, the number of international students in the United States (US) is increasingly evident. For instance, 582,996 international students came to the US in the 2001/2002 academic year, and this number increased to 886,052 by 2013/2014 (Institute of International Education, 2014). As evidenced above, there has been significant growth in the number of international students traveling to the US to pursue higher education. Even though international students have physically crossed the boundaries of their homes to study in US colleges and universities, there is still a desire to stay connected to their homeland. Various social media communication technologies such as Skype™ keep them linked to their friends and families in their home countries. The aim of this study is to understand if global satisfaction with life is a mediator in the relationship between general social media use (and specifically Skype™ use) and academic performance for international students.

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