Demographic Differences in Online Social Networking Addiction among Undergraduate University Students in Nairobi County, Kenya

Virginia Wanjiru Nyagah, Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology Candidate; Sr. Sabina Mutisya, Ph.D; Ntabo Jared Anyona, Ph.D; and Stephen Asatsa, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Eastern Africa


The excessive use of social networking sites by undergraduate university students is very alarming as it has led to some developing addiction to online social networking. This has been supported by statistics showing that university students are spending a lot of time on social networking sites. The aim of the study therefore was to investigate demographic differences in online social networking addiction among undergraduate university students in Nairobi County, Kenya. The study adopted mixed method sequential research design. The target population was 34,405 undergraduate university students; from which a sample size of 385 respondents was obtained by use of Godden (2004) formula for calculating sample size. Data was collected using questionnaires and social media addiction scale (SMAS). Data analysis was done using univariate analysis. The study had several findings: first the study found that females (47.43%) were more addicted to online social networking compared to males (52.57%). The study also found that first years (24.57%) were more addicted to online social networking; while fourth years (18.86%) had the least addiction. The study further found that undergraduate university students in private universities sponsored by religious institutions (27.43%) were more addicted to online social networking, followed by public universities (41.43%) and undergraduate university students from private universities not sponsored by religious institution (31.14%). Finally, the study found that undergraduate students (22.57%) who spend more than 6 hours online are more addicted to online social networking; while those (6%) who spend less than 30 minutes online are less addicted to online social networking.

Keywords: Online Social networking, addiction, facebook, twitter, whatsapp, instagram

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