Positive and negative aspects of Facebook use by service members during deployment to Afghanistan: Associations with perceived social support.

This research examined Facebook (FB) use among 166 active-duty U.S. Service Members (SMs) deployed to Afghanistan. SMs anonymously completed a survey about FB use during their current deployment. Data were collected on FB network size, time spent on FB, FB use integration and emotional connection (via the Social Media Use and Integration Scale), maladaptive FB use (via the Maladaptive Facebook Use Scale), and perceived social support (via the Social Provisions Scale). The majority of SMs had FB accounts (81%, n = 135), which they used during deployment. FB use integration and emotional connection was positively associated with perceived social support, whereas maladaptive FB use and time spent on FB were negatively associated with perceived social support. Non-FB users were more highly educated, higher in rank, and older compared to FB users. FB integration into users’ social routines and users’ emotional connection to FB may help increase positive perceptions of social support among deployed SMs. Education on the constructive use of FB during deployment may be useful in enhancing perceived social support and reducing maladaptive FB use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)