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19-04-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 7/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 7/2017

The Use of Social Media as a Mechanism of Social Support in Parents

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 7/2017
Auteurs:
Divna M. Haslam, Amelia Tee, Sabine Baker

Abstract

The increasing use of social media has changed communication habits among parents and provides the opportunity to access social support online. This paper explored parents’ use of different social media sources and examined potential factors that motivate parents’ use of social media for parenting support. A total of 523 parents completed the Australia-wide online survey. Results indicated that parents endorsed Facebook, parenting websites and blogs as the most frequently used social media sources. Getting specific information and advice were the top ranked reasons parents accessed social media for parenting purposes. A series of multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate predictors of social media use (Model 1) and parents’ perceived level of online social support (Model 2). Analyses of Model 1 revealed that after controlling for demographic variables, parents’ social media use was predicted by internet self-efficacy, perceptions towards the social media and online support. Analyses of Model 2 revealed that after controlling for demographic variables, parents’ perceptions toward social media, and their use of social media predicted levels of online social support, such that the more parents used social media, the greater the online support they reported receiving. Child maladjustment and parenting self-efficacy did not predict either social media use or online social support. The results indicate that parents do use social media for parenting purposes, and that it can serve as a type of social support.

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