An Examination of the Reciprocal Relationship of Loneliness and Facebook Use among First-Year College Students.
College students are using social network sites such as Facebook to communicate with their families and friends. However, empirical evidence is needed to examine whether there exists a reciprocal relationship between students’ use of social network sites and their psychological well-being. The present study focused on two reciprocally-related research questions: (a) Is there an impact of loneliness on Facebook intensity and motive for using Facebook among first-year college students? (b) Is there an impact of Facebook intensity and motive for using Facebook on loneliness? Data were collected from a sample of 340 first-year college students and were analyzed through structural equation modeling. No reciprocal relationship was found in the study: Facebook intensity had a positive impact on loneliness and, motive for using Facebook did not have any impact on loneliness, whereas loneliness influenced neither Facebook intensity nor motive for using Facebook.