Nonrecursive models of internet use and community engagement: Questioning whether time spent online erodes social capital

Dhavan Shah, Michael Grant Schmierbach, Joshua Hawkins, Rodolfo Espino, Janet Donavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

104 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although some argue that Internet use may erode involvement in public life, the most common Internet behaviors, social communication and information searching, may actually foster social and civic participation. To examine this possibility, we test a series of non-recursive models using a national survey of nearly 3,400 respondents. Two-stage least squares regressions were performed to simultaneously test the reciprocal relationship between frequency of Internet use (i.e., hours per day) and three sets of community engagement behaviors: informal social interaction, attendance at public events, and participation in civic volunteerism (i.e., annual frequency). Time spent online has a positive relationship with public attendance and civic volunteerism. No evidence of time displacement from frequency of Internet use is observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)964-987
Number of pages24
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Volume79
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

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social capital
Internet
volunteerism
community
participation
regression
time
event
communication
Communication
interaction
evidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

Cite this

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Nonrecursive models of internet use and community engagement : Questioning whether time spent online erodes social capital. / Shah, Dhavan; Schmierbach, Michael Grant; Hawkins, Joshua; Espino, Rodolfo; Donavan, Janet.

In: Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Vol. 79, No. 4, 01.01.2002, p. 964-987.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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