Digital Object Identifier
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of social media engagement, which includes frequency of using social media platforms (FSMP) and social media involvement, on the academic distraction and academic performance of the student. The study further tests the moderating role of attention control on the relationship between academic distraction and academic performance.
Method: Data were collected from 272 students studying in universities in India. Students answered questions on the frequency of visiting social media platforms and social media involvement, components of academic distraction, and attention control. AMOS software was used to test the structural model.
Results: FSMP does not contribute to academic distraction; however, consistent social media involvement does predict academic distraction. Unlike previous studies, academic distraction does not influence the academic performance of students born in the digital era, who have accessed social media throughout their childhood. Attention control moderates the relationship between academic distraction and academic performance.
Conclusions: The study challenges past research that claims social media engagement has a negative effect on student academic performance. Social media involvement, such as texting, commenting, and sharing updates, causes academic distraction but may not affect student academic performance. A novel finding is that the strength and direction of the relationship between academic distraction on academic performance vary with attention control.
Implication for Theory and/or Practice: The study can be useful for educators and policy makers to build strategies for developing digital citizenship behaviours among students and thereby leverage social media for improved academic achievements of students. In particular, the potential moderating role of attention control in the interaction between academic distraction and academic performance has implications for educators and researchers.
Moderating Role of Attention Control in the Relationship Between Academic Distraction and Performance.
Higher Learning Research Communications, 12 (1).