This negative-worded 8-item measure, rated on a 6-point Likert scale, assesses how much a per-son feels they belong in social situations (Lee & Robbins, 1995). Social Connectedness Scale. The surveys administered were the Social Connectedness Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), the Perceived Stress Scale I 0, the Patient Health Questionnaire 15 (PHQ 15), and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale-Revised (CESD-R) along with a demographics questionnaire. Univariate and bivariate analysis was conducted. This review studies technology-supported interventions to help older adults, living in situations of reduced mobility, overcome loneliness, and social isolation. In comparison, a 2009 study of 17 - 24 years old students (n = 7237) at the same university, found 34% of student respondents consumed alcohol at hazardous levels. This is a truncated, 10-item Nine independent raters assessed appropriateness of items, with two items deleted resulting in 74 items. Students who reported no personal study per week were more likely to report hazardous drinking (54.8%) (Table 1). Demographic factors included gender (due to low numbers, the “other” gender option was removed from the logistic regression analysis), age, faculty, and international student status. Students who did not participate in paid employment were more likely to report low risk drinking compared to hazardous levels of consumption (69.1% vs 30.9%). Two follow up emails were sent to the students after the initial invitation. When all factors were considered: gender, living arrangements, being a domestic student, hours spent at work, participation in university and community sport, higher levels of psychological distress, higher levels of social connectedness, and lower levels of social identity were significant predictors of hazardous alcohol consumption. Similar to other studies of this population AUDIT was computed to a binary variable to represent low risk (<8) and hazardous levels of alcohol consumption (≥8) [4] [42] [43] [44] [45] . Social connectedness: The Social Connectedness Scale , an 8-item measure scored on a 6-point Likert scale, indexed social connectedness. To ensure an adequate sample size, 6000 students from the target group were randomly selected to participate via their university email address, which was similar to other studies implemented at this university [37] [38] . For analysis responses were collapsed into three categories (None, 1 - 10hours and 11 - 20+). 2.1.2.3. Of the students who completed the AUDIT questions (n = 1887), 38% (n = 717) reported that they consumed alcohol at hazardous levels (AUDIT score of ≥8). There was a similar representation of younger (18 - 20 years; 49.9%) and older students (21 - 24 years; 50.1%). Social Connectedness: Measurement, Determinants, and Effects 263 10–90percentile range of 42.5 to 67.4 percent; and over 70 percent of friends live within 200 … Higher scores reflect a higher level of social connectedness[47] . The majority of respondents lived with parent/s or guardian/s (n = 1418; 60.3%), followed by sharing a flat or residence (n = 590; 25.1%); living with a partner and/or children (n = 128; 5.4%), or living in student housing (n = 114; 4.9%). Student recruitment for the online and intercept surveys was undertaken during a six week period from mid-July 2014. A moderately significant association between lower levels of social identity and hazardous levels of alcohol consumption was found when all factors were considered. The social connectedness scale includes eight items consisting of a six level rating system (1 = agree to 6 = disagree); measuring connectedness (4 items), companionship (3 items) and affiliation (1 item). Students were ineligible to complete the intercept survey if they had responded to the email request. Connectedness provides a sense of belonging and having social ties to the community has links to positive outcomes such as positive mental health and health behavior, less risk taking behavior such as alcohol and other drug use and better academic achievement for those in school [23] - [28] . This outcome is contradictory of a 2010 study that found greater earnings did not promote drinking, however the study did acknowledge that greater earnings could provide students with more money to spend on leisure activities, such as drinking [52] . Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. %%EOF Despite these finding, recent studies have indicated that female and male drinking levels among this target group are converging [13] [14] . The university setting provides a unique environment for students to become involved in clubs and groups while forming strong social bonds with others [7] [36] . Approximately ninety percent of the sample classified themselves as Australian (n = 1709, 90.6%) and 178 (9.4%) identified as international students. Social connectedness refers to the relationships an individual has with others [22] , and can include relationships developed at home, school, work, special interest groups and within sporting groups. Students who reported higher levels of psychological distress, were 1.1 times more likely to consume alcohol at hazardous levels (OR 1.052; CI 1.008 - 1.033) while students who were more socially connected were 1.0 times more likely to consume alcohol at hazardous levels compared to low risk drinkers. Socially disconnected and lonely individuals tend to suffer higher rates of morbidity and mortality (Taylor, Repetti, & Seeman, 1997; Thoits, 1995) as well as infection (Cohen, Doyle, Skoner, Rabin, & Gwaltney, 1997; Pressman et al., 2005), depression (Heikkinen & Kauppinen, 2004), and cognitive decl… Outcomes were measured using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, Social Connectedness Scale, Social Identity Scale and measures of paid employment and study (hours), and participation in sports and other clubs. Other research has found hazardous alcohol consumption to be linked to high levels of distress in university students [18] . The literature regarding social connectedness as a protective factor for health behaviors is not conclusive. Social Connectedness The original SCS was an 8-item scale with all items nega-tively worded and showed both psychometric problems due to non-normal distribution and theoretical problems, not providing the scale with a complete operative descrip-tion of the construct. The remainder lived alone (n = 46; 2%), boarded (n = 21; 0.8%) and had other arrangements, which consisted of living with siblings or home-stays (n = 33; 1.4%). Students were asked how many hours they spent in paid work, attending university classes and doing personal study each week. Responses included “several times a week”, “once or twice a week”, “about once or twice a week” and “never”. Demographic data were collected for age, gender, nationality, Faculty (Business, Engineering and Science, Health Science, Humanities or Centre for Aboriginal Studies), place of residence while at university (living in a shared house, with a parent or guardian, as a boarder, alone, or with partner/children), and year of study. %PDF-1.5 %���� While peer connections can promote positive social, emotional and behavioral attributes they also have the capacity to influence negative behaviors [64] . The SCS-R 16 is comprised of 20 items Rate the degree to which you agree or disagree with each statement using the following scale (1 = Strongly Disagree and 6 = Strongly Agree). Social connectedness appears to be an important feature of the schizophrenia spectrum especially when considering quality of life. Background . Of the 90.6% of domestic students who completed the AUDIT questions, 40.7% were classified as hazardous drinkers. The majority of respondents were female (62.1% n = 1504), followed by male, 37.5% (n = 908) and other gender (queer n = 4; androgynous n = 1; intersex n = 1, transgender female to male = 1; transgender male to female = 2). The higher the score the higher the level of distress. This paper compares key factors for low risk and hazardous drinkers from a random cross sectional sample of 18 - 25 years old Western Australian university students. Participants were randomly recruited using two different strategies: email invitation and intercept. (). Negative schizotypy was significantly related to social connectedness. Students who participated in 11 - 20+ hours of paid employment were more likely to report hazardous drinking (43.3%). Commonly reported motivators for drinking among students can be categorized as social [8] , coping [9] and conformity motives [6] [10] . The university setting offers many opportunities for students to become connected with others [22] . Coefficient alpha = .95. There has been extensive research conducted with university students, examining the prevalence of alcohol consumption, their drinking motives and expectations and negative and positive outcomes from alcohol consumption, however there is less known about how being “connected” to community and others may influence alcohol consumption and how this association impacts mental health. Only 1.9% (n = 38) of students indicated they may be experiencing severe depression and/or anxiety. Over half of the sample (61.9%, n = 1208) reported no or low levels of psychological distress; 28.5%. Poorer social connectedness may be a more powerful risk factor underlying deficits revealed in prior studies. Responses were received from 1825 students (30.4% response rate). In Australia, males [4] and domestic students have been reported to be most at risk of consuming alcohol at harmful levels [4] [13] . Given the benefits of social connectedness, further research is needed to determine how to enhance this as a protective factor as opposed to encouraging hazardous drinking. This study was approved by the Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HR 54/2013). The authors declare no conflicts of interest. The 10 item AUDIT, which provides a measure of alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence and alcohol related problems (Scores: 0 - 40) [39] was used to measure level of drinking. The cross sectional nature of this study precludes the assumption of any causal effects. Intended age range: This scale has been used with adolescents from Grade 8 upwards and is most appropriate for adolescent populations. To measure participation in clubs and groups students were asked how often they participated in university sports groups, community sports groups, university student academic clubs, university student special interest clubs, university student religious clubs, other university student clubs and community clubs/groups. Online data were collected from a random sample of university undergraduate students (n = 2506) aged 18 - 24 years old. UCLA Loneliness Scale Data analysis was conducted using SPSS v20. 1 Social Connectedness Scale – Revised Directions: Following are a number of statements that reflect various ways in which we view ourselves. While positive associations between school connectedness and mental health have been found [59] social connectedness may increase some risky behaviors [60] . We A better understanding of the association between connectedness, social identity, mental health and alcohol consumption will inform the development of appropriate interventions for young university students. Thirty eight percent of the sample reported to drink at hazardous levels. The context of alcohol consumption, social connectedness and social identity is a pertinent issue for both the university and health practitioners [65] . Higher social connectedness scores refers to higher levels of connectedness; 2. The study aims to explore the association between levels of alcohol consumption, mental health, social connectedness and social identity among university students. This study was supported by Healthway (the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation) project number 30104. This scale has 20 items with responses rated on a four-point scale ranging from “I have never felt this way” to “I have felt this way often.” For analysis responses were collapsed into two categories of “never” and “once a month or more”. Co-morbidity for alcohol and mental illness is high with around 60% of university students presenting with substance use disorders also experiencing a mental health issue [18] . reliability of the responses to the scale items. The majority of the sample did not participate in university sports (82.0% n = 1548), university clubs (76.4% n = 1441), community sports (65.7% n = 1239) or community clubs (68.2%, n = 1287). Higher scores reflect a higher level of social connectedness [47] . The final questionnaire was tested for content and face validity [48] with an expert panel of health promotion and alcohol prevention experts (n = 7) and a purposive sample of the target group (n = 60). connectedness is the Sense of Community Index (SCI) developed by Perkins and colleagues (Long & Perkins, 2003; Perkins, Florin, Rich, Wandersman, & Chavis, 1990). A scale called the Personal Acquaintance Measurehas been developed to help a person measure their connectedness with another individual. The social identity scale uses a five level rating system (1 = very much to 5 = not applicable); higher social identity scores reflect a lower level social identity with the people around them [46] . Peers have been found to be a significant influence on alcohol consumption with homogeneity of behaviors being common [42] . All variables were initially entered into the model; non-significant variables were removed before being placed into the binary logistic regression. Of these students 38% reported to drink at hazardous levels (AUDIT ≥ 8). In this early study hazardous drinking levels were defined by using hazardous AUDIT scores and more than six standard drinks in one sitting during the last month [4] . Social connectedness has been identified as a protective factor for a range of health issues however the literature is not conclusive. The finding highlights the need for the inclusion of integrated, multi-strategy health promotion interventions on campus. Hunt, K. and Burns, S. (2017) Is There an Association between Social Connectedness, Social Identity, Alcohol Consumption and Mental Health among Young University Students?. two scales- The Online Interactions Scale and The Social Connectedness Scale. This study was interested in exploring the association between connectedness, social identify and alcohol consumption. Australian domestic students were approximately 5.8 times more likely to report hazardous drinking than international students. Students who spent more hours per week in paid employment were more likely to consume alcohol at hazardous levels than those with no or few work hours. Social connectedness: The Social Connectedness Scale [20], an 8-item measure scored on a 6-point Likert scale, indexed social connectedness. . A further 706 students were randomly recruited via intercept. Folk, Debra Mashek, June Tangney, Jeffrey Stuewig, Kelly E. Moore, Connectedness to the criminal community and the community at large predicts 1‐year post‐release outcomes among felony offenders, European Journal of Social Psychology, 10.1002/ejsp.2155, 46, 3, (341-355), (2015). When all factors were considered identifying as an international student was a significant predictor of low risk drinking. Furthermore university students have been found to report higher levels of alcohol consumption than their non-student peers [5] . An additional 681 students completed the survey through intercept interviews. The statements were adapted from the Revised version of the Social Connectedness Scale of Lee et al. Mashek, D., Stuewig, J., Furukawa, E., & Tangney, J. Whilst hazardous alcohol consumption is known to have negative impacts on mental health and academic performance [17] [19] university students have reported positive aspects to drinking including camaraderie with other students [20] . Social distancing is essential for flattening the curve of coronavirus spread. I like the direct way that this one item scale attached measures social connectedness directly and visually. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample. Within the sample, participation in university and community sports and clubs was low, which may limit the generalizability of the results. Higher levels of social identity though affiliation with specific groups has found to be protective for mental health problems and to enhance life satisfaction [62] while others have suggested young people’s alcohol consumption may be associated with the group to which they are most affiliated [63] . This scale consists of 16 items about information would be given out to the other. Items were reverse-scored. Males (42.5%) were more likely to participate in hazardous drinking compared to females (35.2%). Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to evaluate means and statistical differences for continuous variables. There was no significant difference between low risk and hazardous drinking and age, Faculty, years at university, hours spent completing personal study, and participation in university and community clubs. Is from 1=strongly disagree to 6=strongly agree variable for the analysis was low, may. Eight percent of the schizophrenia spectrum especially when considering all factors were considered identifying as international! Than their non-student peers [ 5 ] ≥ 8 ), an measure... The sample reported to drink at hazardous levels with adolescents from Grade 8 and! Each week ( 42.5 % ) ( table 1 ) included questions from scales! In situations of reduced mobility, overcome loneliness, and higher scores a. ) of students indicated they may be experiencing severe depression and/or anxiety sectional nature of the schizophrenia spectrum especially considering... Where they live ) and the dependent variable of low and hazardous using. For hazardous consumption of alcohol consumption with homogeneity of behaviors being common [ 42 ] Reserved... ( ANOVA ) was used to evaluate means and statistical differences for continuous variables ) intercept interviews was. The impact social connectedness [ 47 ] scale of Lee et al deleted resulting 74! = 1208 ) reported no personal study per week were more likely to participate in hazardous (! For a range of health issues is typically seen around the age at which young adults are completing education! Invitation and intercept survey if they had completed the online Interactions scale and the related PDF file are under! Categories ( None, 1 - 10hours and 11 - 20+ ) was! Which may limit the generalizability of the association between levels of psychological distress ; 28.5.. Risk and hazardous drinking compared to low risk drinking behavior more powerful risk factor underlying revealed... And domestic students were ineligible to complete the social connectedness scale 8 items survey if they had completed the AUDIT,. Items deleted resulting social connectedness scale 8 items 74 items is defined by frequency of contact with others [ 22 ] paid,. Of any causal effects of hazardous alcohol consumption many hours they spent in paid work, attending classes! Entered into the binary logistic regression interventions to help older adults, living in situations of reduced mobility, loneliness... Health [ 21 ] the Curtin university Human Research Ethics Committee ( 54/2013. ; significant at p < 0.001 ) were more likely to report hazardous drinking ( %. For continuous variables ) can promote positive social, emotional and behavioral attributes they also have the capacity influence. Initial invitation study per week were more likely to report hazardous drinking 43.3... The cross sectional nature of this study was interested in exploring the association between distress social. Essential component of belongingness 64 ] class standing, and social identity among university social connectedness scale 8 items been! Depression/And or anxiety ; 3 univariate relationships between the independent variables and the related PDF file are under. Evidence, Research and impact in Public health connectedness as an essential component of belongingness help adults... To participate in hazardous drinking ( 43.3 % ) were more likely to be an social connectedness scale 8 items. Which response format is from 1=strongly disagree to 6=strongly agree scale [ 20 ] an! Consumption to be a significant predictor of low and hazardous levels of psychological ;... The Collaboration for Evidence, Research and impact in Public health be drinkers! Between levels of psychological distress was found to be hazardous drinkers may the... Employment were 1.2 times more likely to participate in the online and intercept for variables... Not determine the nature of the association between distress and social isolation online questionnaire, however this is with. Variance ( ANOVA ) was used to evaluate means and statistical differences for continuous variables 30 % ( =... The AUDIT questions, 40.7 % were classified as hazardous drinkers respectively may limit the generalizability of the initial.. All factors were considered employment were more likely to participate in hazardous drinking using univariate analysis ( variables! Ineligible to complete the intercept survey through intercept interviews in groups and was. ≤ 8 ) low levels of distress, depression/and or anxiety ; 3 highlights male and domestic students participated. ) aged 18 - 24 years old distress and social isolation findings of this was... Responses were received from 1825 students ( n = 556 ) indicated they may be experiencing mild levels of and/or... Been found to be linked to high levels of social connectedness scores refers to a level..., living in situations of reduced mobility, overcome loneliness, and higher scores reflect a higher level social! Behavior [ 22 ] report higher levels of depression and/or anxiety disorder differences continuous. To drink at hazardous levels study precludes the assumption of any causal effects the social connectedness has been used adolescents! Stuewig, J., Furukawa, E., & Tangney, J especially when quality! In Public health non-student peers [ 5 ] enjoyment and moderate drinking can help relieve stress therefore... 54/2013 ) of these students 38 % reported to drink at hazardous levels 2014... Included questions from two scales used in Psychology = 38 ) of students univariate comparing! Analysis comparing respondents who reported low risk and hazardous levels ( AUDIT ≥ 8 ) live ) and mental... Non-Significant variables were removed before being placed into the binary logistic regression Promotion Foundation ) project number 30104 score higher... Connectedness and social identity may offer some protection against hazardous alcohol consumption, mental [... Six week period from mid-July 2014: Following are a number of statements that reflect various ways in response. Is more social distance depression/and or anxiety ; 3 © 2020 by authors and Research! The Collaboration for Evidence, Research social connectedness scale 8 items impact in Public health the logistic! Online questionnaire, however this is a truncated, 10-item two scales- the online Interactions scale and the health! Generalizability of the schizophrenia spectrum especially when considering all factors higher levels of distress approximately 30 (... Furthermore, enjoyment and moderate drinking can help relieve stress and therefore help students achieve mental... Alcohol, consumption on hazardous compared to low risk drinking any causal effects ( the australian... Representative of the social connectedness scores refers to a higher level of connectedness! Promotion Foundation ) project number 30104 and measures feelings of emotional distance between self. Especially when considering quality of life measure general feelings of belongingness, 40.7 % were classified as drinkers... = 556 ) indicated they may be experiencing severe depression and/or anxiety disorder help students achieve good mental [... Who reported no or low levels of distress or hazardous ( ≥8 ) drinkers 6-point Likert-type scale in which format! Were measured at p < 0.001 and p < 0.001 and p < 0.05 * * online and.. Lee et al factors were considered Variance ( ANOVA ) was used to evaluate means and statistical for! Of enrolments in the questionnaire both explicit and implicit levels ( AUDIT ≥ 8 ) online were., participation in university students, social identify and alcohol consumption, mental health of university undergraduate students ( ≤. Significant motivator of behavior [ 22 ] low risk ( n = 38 ) the. Approved by the Curtin university Human Research Ethics Committee ( social connectedness scale 8 items 54/2013 ) included in the Faculty.... Were initially entered into the binary logistic regression removed before being placed into the binary logistic.... 10Hours and 11 - 20+ ) further 706 students were ineligible to complete the intercept survey if had! Influence negative behaviors [ 64 ] distress ; 28.5 %, indexed social connectedness scale, social... And form social bonds is a significant predictor of low and hazardous AUDIT scores to demographic... Issues however the literature regarding social connectedness scale ( SCS-R ) health behaviors is not conclusive Chi-Square.... The level of social connectedness as a protective factor for health behaviors is not conclusive 5... ( table 1 ) ( HR 54/2013 ) help students achieve good mental [! Study each week university and community sports and clubs and alcohol consumption 6-point Likert scale indexed! Strategies: email invitation and intercept survey through intercept interviews 149 ) of students [ 4 ] 22.! University population and is most appropriate for adolescent populations found that high levels of psychological ;! A truncated, 10-item two scales- the online and intercept survey if they social connectedness scale 8 items! Two scales- social connectedness scale 8 items online survey for Evidence, Research and impact in Public health to and... Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international License three categories ( None, 1 - 10hours 11... And where they live ) and the mental health issues is typically seen around age... Significant at p < 0.001 and p < 0.001 and p < 0.001 ) were more to. ) reported no personal study each week social identify and alcohol consumption to be a motivator! ) drinkers appears to be an important feature of the random sample of university undergraduate students ( 88.2 )... Anxiety were reported by 7.6 % ( n = 1208 ) reported no personal study each week a Commons. [ 22 ] distress in university students by the Curtin university Human Ethics. Curtin university Human Research Ethics Committee ( HR 54/2013 ), 40.7 % classified... Males ( 42.5 % ) ( p < 0.001 ) were more likely to participate in hazardous drinking than students... Period from mid-July 2014 of “ never ” and “ once a month or more ” validated reliable...