Social capital: the benefit of Facebook ‘friends’

Intense Facebook usage is found to have a positive effect on psychological well-being.

A recent study in Behaviour & Information Technology investigated the role Facebook use plays in the creation or maintenance of social capital among 800 students from 7 universities in South Africa. Empirical research has linked social capital to many positives in society, such as improved mental and physical health and economic well-being.

The study suggests a strong association between the intensity of Facebook use and perceived bridging, bonding and maintaining of social capital. Facebook usage was also found to interact with measures of psychological well-being, suggesting that it might be beneficial to students experiencing low self-esteem and low life satisfaction.

‘Social capital: the benefit of Facebook ‘friends’’ features in a recent issue of Behaviour & Information Technology.