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Impact of Online Social Network on American College Students’ Reading Practices

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Impact of Online Social Network on American College Students’ Reading Practices
By SuHua Huang and Matthew Capps
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate social networking sites (SNS) and ways college students spend their time on both conventional academic and recreational reading. A total of 1,265 (466 male and 799 female) college students voluntarily participated in the study by completing a self-report survey. Descriptive analysis indicated that the average amount of time students spent (M) on academic reading (AR), recreational reading (RR), and social networking (SN) was 7.72 hours, 4.24 hours, and 16.13 hours per week, respectively. When compared with various classifications, freshmen students spent more time on SN (M=18.05 hours) and less time on both AR (M= 6.22 hours) and RR (M=3.47 hours) than other groups. A zero-order correlation statistical analysis indicated socializing with others by using some social networking sites (SNS) (e.g., Facebook) was positively correlated with college students’ recreational reading (RR), but was not correlated with academic reading (AR).

Introduction

Research on college students has indicated a number of different outcomes associated with particular types of college students’ experiences (e.g., contact with professors, students’ attitudes, motivations, and activities) and differences among types of institutions and subgroups of students (Kelly & Lee, 2009). However, spending time in reading is one important dimension for college students that has not been studied extensively (Hendel & Harrold, 2004), and little empirical evidence has been gathered about college students’ reading activities (Huang, Capps, Blacklock, & Garza, 2012). As a result, studies of college students’ reading practices have been either inconsistent or limited (Mokhtari, Reichard, & Gardner, 2009).

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