EFFECTS OF SOCIAL NETWORKS ON THE ANXIETY LEVEL. A PILOT STUDY OF 14-18 -YEAR-OLD HUNGARIAN HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS
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480 volunteers (n = 476; 224 male, 252 female; age: 12-18 years, mean: 15.97 +/- 1.25 years; 139 are from the city of Budapest, 234 from towns, 103 from villages) participated in the study. The authors study showed that the anxiety level (reduced CPI) related to the gender (T Test: p - 0,01) and to the age (p - 0,05), but not to the place of residence. We also found that the anxiety level is related to the number of close relatives and friends (p - 0,05; p - 0,01 ). It is also connected to the number of mobile phone calls to the family, friends and acquaintances (p - 0,05); to the number of text messages sent to friends and acquaintances (p - 0,05); and to the willingness to build new contacts and trust strangers (p - 0,01). The authors' results indicate that besides the willingness to build new contacts and therefore enlarge the personal social network, the most important factors of controlling anxiety are: the number of not-too-strong links (close relatives and friends); and the number of not-too-strong communication channels (mobile phone calls, text messages). In contrast, the number of very strong links (parents, siblings) and very weak links (distant relatives, acquaintances), as well as the use of strong communication channels (personal contacts) and very weak communication channels (anonymous Internet-communication) may have only a moderate influence on the anxiety level.
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