UNDERGRADUATES’ ONLINE DATING: PREDICTIVE INFLUENCE OF AGE, GENDER, MOTIVATION AND COMPUTER EFFICACY
This study examines age, gender, motivation, and computer efficacy as factors predicting online dating among higher institution students in Oyo State.
The study adopted a descriptive survey. The sample consisted of 166 undergraduates of the University of Ibadan. Three scales were used to collect information. Three research questions were raised and answered in the study. Data collected were analysed using multiple regression statistics for data analysis.
Results indicated that there is a positive relationship between age and dependent variable (i.e. online dating) (r = 0.307); motivation (r = 0.242) and computer efficacy (r = 0.309). However, gender has no significant relationship with online dating. Research question two indicated that the R2 value is 0.204 while the adjusted R2 is 0.184. This translated into 18.4% of the total variance. This implies that the influence of the independent factors on online dating were not due to chance factor. The F value ratio of 10.292 further corroborated this. This showed that there is significant combined effect of age, gender, motivation and computer efficacy on online dating among the participants. The research question three explained the relative influence of age, gender, motivation and computer efficacy on online dating among the participants. Age (Beta = .282; t = 3.982) is the most potent contributor to online dating. This is followed by computer efficacy (Beta = .248; t = 3.267) and motivation (Beta = .181; t = 2.450). The least factor is gender (Beta = .077; t = 1.040).
The findings from this study showed that online dating is real and has come to stay. Computer efficacy, motivation, age and gender are central to the dating activities of the university undergraduates, hence counselling psychologists must brace up to the challenges this new behaviour poses to stable and lasting relationship.
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