The psychosocial outcomes associated with online communication is hotly debated. We explored how WhatsApp engagement related to a number of psychosocial outcomes, and how key social factors were relevant here. WhatsApp users (N = 200) completed an online questionnaire measuring WhatsApp use and motivations, online bonding, quality of relationships, group identity, and psychosocial outcomes. Findings showed that including mediator variables of online bonding, group identity and quality of relationships was important for understanding the relationship between WhatsApp use and well-being. Specifically, online bonding mediated the relationship between WhatsApp use and social competence, and self-esteem. Group identity had an effect on all outcomes except psychological well-being. Conversely, although minutes per day using WhatsApp was positively related to quality of relationships, this in turn, was not significantly related to any of the outcome variables. This highlights the pertinence of accounting for key mediators underpinning the link between technology use and well-being.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction|
|Early online date||31 May 2019|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2019|