Family e-chat group use was associated with family wellbeing and personal happiness in hong kong adults amidst the covid-19 pandemic

Wei Jie Gong, Bonny Yee Man Wong, Sai Yin Ho, Agnes Yuen Kwan Lai, Sheng Zhi Zhao, Man Ping Wang, Tai Hing Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Instant messaging (IM) is increasingly used for family communication amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. However, evidence remains scarce on how family e-chat groups were used and their associations with family and individual wellbeing amidst the pandemic. The numbers of family e-chat groups, functions used, and messages sent and received daily in groups were reported by 4890 adults in May 2020, and their associations with family wellbeing and personal happiness and the mediation effect of family communication quality were examined. Results showed that sending/receiving text messages was most commonly used, followed by receiving/sending photos/pictures, making voice calls, receiving/sending short videos and voice messages, and making video calls. Women and older people used more non-text functions. Higher levels of family wellbeing and personal happiness were associated with having more groups, receiving/sending photos/pictures, video calls, more IM functions used, and more IM messages received/sent daily. Forty-six point two to seventy-five point five percent of their associations with more groups and more functions used were mediated by family communication quality. People having more family e-chat groups and using more IM functions may be more resilient amidst the pandemic, while those without or with low use of family e-chat groups amidst the pandemic would need more attention and assistance in the presence of social distancing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9139
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Family communication
  • Family e-chat group
  • Family wellbeing
  • Information and communication technology
  • Instant messaging
  • Personal happiness

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