A Mediation Analysis of International Students’ Patterns of Computer-Mediated Communication
This research proposes and tests a mediation model of interrelationships among multiple factors shaping international students’ online communication. Drawing from social capital and Internet-enhanced self-disclosure theories, this article analyzes the mechanisms underlying differences in students’ employment of computer-mediated communication (CMC) channels. Data collected from 168 international students are used to assess the extent to which comfort levels in using CMC tools mediate relationships among student-centered factors (i.e., age, English language proficiency, length of direct exposure to the host cultural environment, degree of individualism versus collectivism), and the frequency of their communication through social networking profiles and instant messaging. Additionally, the research investigates the moderating influence of gender on the observed pattern of interrelationships.