Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Orr, R. Robert (Psychology)






Researchers in the domain of computer-mediated communication (CMC) are beginning to investigate the motives for using tools such as Facebook and MSN Messenger (MSN). It is unclear, however, whether motives specific to Facebook and MSN use are associated with negative affect or with the use of these tools. The present study investigated the motives for Facebook and MSN use and the affective and usage correlates of these motives. A total of 360 CMC users were recruited for this study. Of this total, 350 were Facebook users and 259 were MSN users. The study was conducted online and participants completed a series of self-report questionnaires assessing motives, negative affect, and CMC use. Data reduction analyses of motives questionnaires revealed five motives for Facebook use and four motives for MSN use. The Regulation of Social Anxieties motive for Facebook use and the Offline Stress Reduction motive for MSN use were both positively correlated with negative affect (NA) and social avoidance, and negatively correlated with positive affect (PA). The Enjoyable Distraction motive (for both Facebook and MSN) was positively correlated with the frequency of Facebook use and with the intensity of Facebook and MSN use. These results demonstrated that the CMC use motives that correlated with negative affect were different from the CMC use motives that correlated with CMC usage. The present study also demonstrated the importance of including a measure of negative affect (NA) when investigating CMC motives and affective correlates. Implications for using the need to belong framework (Baumeister & Leary, 1995) in CMC motives research were discussed.