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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Mothers’ Social Media Use and Impact on Children’s Education: An Investigation of Mothers in India and the United States

Published: May 27, 2020


Meng-Hsien (Jenny) Lin, California State University Monterey Bay; Akshaya Vijayalakshmi, India Institute of Management Ahmedabad


Empowerment; SocialMedia; Education


In this paper we examine the empowering role of social media and how levels of empowerment influence mothers in their decision-making related to their children’s education. Data is collected from two countries, India and US. In Study 1 (India), we find that limited social media use enhances interactional empowerment and increase spending on children’s education. In Study 2 (US), we find that passive social media use by mothers leads to interactional empowerment, thus increase spending on children’s education. Whereas active social media use enhances intrapersonal empowerment, reduces spending on children’s education and results in lower grades in school. While social media may be useful for connecting people and disseminating information, our results suggest that it could have a detrimental effect on children when it is used to fulfill social and recognition needs, which are drivers of active social media use. In contrast, cognitive needs are associated with passive social media use.


2019 Transformative Consumer Research Grant