Investigating the role of Facebook usage, life satisfaction, self-esteem and social support in predicting the loneliness of Turkish university student.

Loneliness affects feelings, behaviors, social and physiological aspects of people for a lifetime (Heinrich & Gullone, 2006). Loneliness is a significant indicator of mental health, can be defined as the feeling of not having a good social network (Peplau & Perlman, 1982). A number of studies have examined the issue of loneliness and its predictors for three decades (Cheng & Furnham, 2002: Frisen, 2007: Qalter, Brown, Rotenberg, Vanhalst, Harris, Goossens, & Bangee, 2013: Peplau & Perlman, 1982). Until recent years, the relationship between loneliness and life satisfaction, (Mellor, Hayaski, Stokes, Firth, Lake, Staples,… ,Cummins, 2008), social support and self-esteem (Kapıkıran, 2013) have been examined extensively. The facility of widespread usage of internet gradually makes it possible to connect with others via social network sites as well. As the feeling of loneliness means lacking of communication with others, the new tools of social network communication sites such as Facebook has taken the attention of researchers (Yang & Brown, 2013). Facebook offers its users the chance of creating a profile, sharing photos, music and videos, messaging and getting in touch with people (Joinson, 2008: Kalpidou, Costin & Morris, 2011). Furthermore, youths between 8-18 ages spend 6.5 hours in social network sites in USA (Roberts, Foehr & Rideout, 2005). In Turkey, people spend weekly 29.7 hours on the net (Meclis Araştırma Komisyonu Raporu, 2012). Therefore, a social communication environment, Facebook, is an important issue regarding students’ social development (Pempek, Yermolayeva & Calvert, 2009). The purpose of this study was to find the role of Facebook usage, life satisfaction, self esteem and social support in predicting the loneliness of university students. Undergraduate and graduate students studying at 10 universities in Ankara participated to the study. Among participants (N=498), 342 (68.7 %) of them were female and 156 (31.3 %) were male. In this study, convenient sampling method was used and the scales were administered via both online and paper-pencil test format. As the instruments, Facebook Intensity Scale (Ellison, Steinfield & Lampe, 2007), Rosenberg Self –Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) adapted by Çuhadaroğlu (1986), UCLA Loneliness Scale (Russell, Peplau & Ferguson, 1978) adapted by Durak & ŞenolDurak (2010) , Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimmer, 1988) adapted into Turkish by Eker & Akar (1995), The Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Laresen & Griffin, 1985) by Dural, Şenol-Durak & Gençöz (2010) were applied to the participants. A pilot study was conducted for Turkish adaptation of Facebook Intensity Scale by researchers. The FBI was translated into Turkish and then its psychometric properties were examined. FBI was applied to 207 university students (Cronbach’s alpha = .84). Also, the preliminary results indicated that the factor structure of the scale was valid and reliable. To analyze the data, hierarchical multiple regression analysis was carried out in this study. All statistical analyses were performed with utilizing IBM SPSS 20. The results showed that 51 % of the total variance was explained with this model. All of the five models: Facebook intensity, self esteem, perceived social support and life satisfaction were significant in predicting loneliness. Each one of gender, Facebook usage and life satisfaction explained 2% of the total variance separately. Self esteem explained 37% of total variance by itself. Moreover, self esteem, perceived social support and life satisfaction was negatively related with loneliness. Among university students, as Facebook usage, self esteem, perceived social support and life satisfaction increase, loneliness decreases. The finding of the study was in accordance with the previous studies. For further research, the study can be replicated with other samples in different ages and at different places. The limitation of the study was that convenience sampling method limited the opportunity to generalizability of the results.
World Congress of Psychological Counseling and Guidance, (8 - 11 Eylül 2013)


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Citation Formats
P. Çağ and K. F. Barutçu Yıldırım, “Investigating the role of Facebook usage, life satisfaction, self-esteem and social support in predicting the loneliness of Turkish university student.,” presented at the World Congress of Psychological Counseling and Guidance, (8 - 11 Eylül 2013), İstanbul, Türkiye, 2013, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: