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Psychol Rep. 2015 Feb;116(1):164-75. doi: 10.2466/07.09.PR0.116k14w3. Epub 2015 Jan 26.

Examining relations between locus of control, loneliness, subjective well-being, and preference for online social interaction.

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1 Zhejiang University.

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The unprecedented popularity of online communication has raised interests and concerns among the public as well as in scholarly circles. Online communications have pushed people farther away from one another. This study is a further examination of the effects of online communications on well-being, in particular: Locus of control, Loneliness, Subjective well-being, and Preference for online social interaction. Chinese undergraduate students (N = 260; 84 men, 176 women; M age = 20.1 yr., SD = 1.2) were questioned about demographic information and use of social media as well as four previously validated questionnaires related to well-being. Most participants used QQ, a popular social networking program, as the major channel for online social interactions. Locus of control was positively related to Loneliness and Preference for online social interaction, but negatively related to Subjective well-being; Loneliness (positively) and Subjective well-being (negatively) were related to Preference for online social interaction; and Loneliness and Subjective well-being had a full mediating effect between the relationships of Locus of control and Preference for online social interaction. The findings of the study showed that more lonely, unhappy, and externally controlled students were more likely to be engaged in online social interaction. Improving students' locus of control, loneliness, and happiness may help reduce problematic Internet use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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