Examining Factors Associated With Facebook Use Among Sheltered Homeless in Hawai'i

Wayne Buente, Rachel Neo, Luz M. Quiroga, Joseph Greene


Facebook has great potential to improve the lives of socially vulnerable populations such as homeless individuals. Yet little research has examined factors associated with Facebook use among homeless individuals. To address this research gap, we conduct a quantitative survey among 148 homeless individuals in Hawai'i to examine how Facebook use (vs. nonuse) is associated with demographic characteristics, social capital levels, cell phone use, and instrumental uses of the Internet. Results showed that homeless Facebook users are more likely to be younger and female as compared with nonusers. Homeless Facebook users also exhibited significantly higher levels of bonding social capital than did nonusers. Also, homeless Facebook users were more likely than nonusers to use the Internet to search for jobs. Finally, Facebook users were significantly more likely to have their own cell phones, access the Internet from their cell phones, and be heavier cell phone users than Facebook nonusers. Implications of these findings are discussed.


Facebook, homeless, social capital, ICTs

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