Mediating Role of Cultural Identity in the Relationship between Social Media Use Intensity and Social Media Use Purpose among Chinese International Students in Malaysia

Wenwen Zhao, Mohd Nizam Osman, Siti Zobidah Omar, Hani Salwah Yaakup


Social media has become essential for international students adjusting to a new environment. Previous research has shown that social media use purposes influence international students' cognition, psychology, and behavior. Limited studies have explored whether social media use purposes could be modified. This study investigated whether and how social media use intensity could influence use purpose by focusing on the mediating role of cultural identity among 213 Chinese international students studying in Malaysia. Data were analyzed using both SPSS and PROCESS macro. The findings revealed that social media use intensity positively predicted social media use purpose. Cultural identity (both Chinese and Malaysian cultural identity) partially mediated the relationship between social media use intensity and social media use purpose. Therefore, part of the impact of social media use intensity on social use purpose is achieved through cultural identity. By comparing the proportion of the mediating effect to the total effect, Malaysian cultural identity had a larger mediating effect than Chinese cultural identity. The results of this study could help improve the cross-cultural experience of Chinese students in Malaysia.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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