To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Understanding the effects of WeChat on perceived social capital and psychological well-being among Chinese international college students in Germany

Hua Pang (Institute of Media and Communication, Dresden University of Technology , Dresden, Germany)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 16 May 2018

Issue publication date: 30 July 2018

Downloads
1413

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the intensity use of WeChat is associated with perceived social capital and psychological well-being factors among Chinese international students in Germany.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an online survey data collected from 212 Chinese international college students in Germany, correlation analysis and structural equation modeling were sequentially implemented to deal with the research questions.

Findings

The correlation analysis results indicate that the intensity of WeChat use is positively correlated with bridging, bonding, and maintained social capital. Additionally, a path model demonstrates that bonding social capital is positively related to life satisfaction and negatively related to the sense of loneliness. Furthermore, both bonding and maintained social capital mediate the relationship between WeChat use and these two well-being outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretically, the research is an initial study contributing to the existing social media literature on evaluating the effects of WeChat use on social capital and well-being. Practically, these obtained results can be beneficial to the understanding the dynamics of how social media may potentially impact students’ social connectedness and life quality.

Originality/value

Although WeChat has become the most prevalent social networking site in Mainland China, the social and psychological implications of the emerging technology are not completely understood. The paper offers evidence that WeChat has functioned as an efficient platform for sojourners to develop diverse types of social capital and promote well-being in an intercultural setting.

Keywords

Citation

Pang, H. (2018), "Understanding the effects of WeChat on perceived social capital and psychological well-being among Chinese international college students in Germany", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 70 No. 3, pp. 288-304. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-01-2018-0003

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited