Investigating the impacts of social network site use on the psychological well-being of cancer affected people
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 21:08 authored by Seyedezahra Shadi Erfani
Social Network Sites (SNSs) allow users to create online profiles and content, establish connections, share content, develop interactions with their connections and consume content provided by their network. The rapid growth in the number of users of SNSs makes it important to examine their impact on users and their potential to improve psychological well-being. A major limitation of most previous studies was that they relied on healthy students as participants. Little research attention has been paid to the ability of SNSs to promote the psychological well-being of other cohorts of SNS users. People affected by cancer are using SNSs such as Facebook for informational and emotional exchange with people with the same health concern. This research examined the impact of SNSs use on the psychological well-being of the users of the Ovarian Cancer Australia (OCA) Facebook. Using a mixed-methods approach, this research sought to answer the question: In what ways and to what extent does SNS use impact the psychological well-being of cancer-affected people? Semi-structured interviews with users of the OCA Facebook were used to assess how and in what ways SNSs use impacts the psychological well-being of cancer-affected people. A theoretical model was proposed to develop a better understanding of the relationship. Analysis of data collected through a subsequent quantitative survey confirmed the theoretical model and empirically revealed the extent to which SNSs use impacts the psychological well-being of cancer-affected people. Analysis showed that the use of OCA Facebook enhances social support, improves the experience of social connectedness, develops social presence and learning – and ultimately, improves psychological well-being. This study contributes to a better understanding of the ways that SNSs use is associated with psychological well-being among cancer-affected people. Our theoretical model improves understanding of the factors that mediate the positive impact of Facebook use on the psychological well-being of cancer-affected people.