The impact of Internet usage on family functioning and psychological well-being in Saudi Arabia

Alzhrany, S.S.S., 2018. The impact of Internet usage on family functioning and psychological well-being in Saudi Arabia. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This study aims to investigate the impact of Internet usage on the psychological well-being related to family functioning in the context of Saudi Arabian society. Internet usage is represented by two aspects, firstly by type of online activities including searching, pleasure, communication, gaming, friendships, and shopping; secondly by time spent on these online activities. In terms of family functioning, two dimensions are derived from the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family System, they are family cohesion and adaptability (Olson, 1983). Finally, four individual variables of psychological well-being were selected: loneliness, self-esteem, satisfaction with life, and satisfaction with family life.

For the present work five separate studies were carried out to address the main aim. The first study is a translation study which aims to translate the scales under study into Arabic using two different methods of translation, back translation, and statistical translation. The results indicated that the translated items of the self-report scales are understandable and have similar meaning to the original items.

The second study, which is the pilot study, aims to test the properties of the scales and examine the relationships among the variables. Fifty-eight participants (39 males, 18 females) with mean age 31.6 years took part, all of them Saudi nationals and native speakers. The results indicated significant relationships among the variables, especially Internet usage and family functioning. Results also indicated that the scales under study have acceptable psychometric proprieties. Some items, especially in the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACESII), were found to have minimal relationship with the total of the scale. Thus, the decision was made to further validate in a follow-up study.

The third study aims to validate FACESII to be used in Saudi society. The sample of this study was extended to include one hundred and eighty-one participants 100 males (55%), and 81 females (44%), average of 30.6 years. Three types of validity were considered; face validity, congruent validity, and construct validity. The results showed that FACESII correlated well with the self-esteem whilst correlating poorly with loneliness. Also, the items of FACESII loaded on different factors to the items loaded in loneliness and self-esteem. This study ended with some suggestions to further develop the FACESII scale.

The three aforementioned studies can constitute a preparation process to move towards the main study aim. The fourth study aims to examine the effect of using the Internet on family functioning and well-being, starts with developing scales by using the Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), then examines the model of current study using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). Four models developed to examine the impact of Internet use on family and couple functioning and well-being. These main models consider family and couple functioning as a mediation variable between Internet usage and psychological well-being. Four hundred and thirty-three participants with average mean of 30.23 years took part in survey. Participants were all Saudi nationals and native speakers, from different positions in the household of Saudi families. Overall, results were shown to support the main models and to confirm the mediating role of family functioning for the relationship of Internet usage and individual well-being. Furthermore, comparison between UK and KSA sample were made to find differences in all study's variables and among family members.

The final study, a longitudinal study, aims to examine Internet effects on family functioning and well-being over time. Seventy-four, 48 males and 26 females, with a mean age 33.2 took part in the survey used in study four for a second time. Cross-lagged regression models were used to compare effects over time. Results of this study confirmed that Internet usage has stronger effects on family functioning compared with effects on psychological well-being. This lends further support to the assumed mediating mechanism. Also, some comparisons were made to find out the differences in the study's variables between first longitudinal and cross-sectional samples, and between participants who took part in the longitudinal study with sample who did not.

All in all, the results support the models that proposed which the Internet usage can be more effective on psychological well-being through the family functioning; cohesion and adaptability.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Alzhrany, S.S.S.
Date: March 2018
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 10 Jul 2018 08:53
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2018 08:53

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