Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Scott Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Artemio Ramirez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.


political efficacy, political participation, social media use


In the Chinese authoritarian and conservative political system, Chinese political efficacy and political participation are popular directions of research in recent years. Based on uses and gratifications theory and self-efficacy theory, this thesis explored the relationships among social media use, political efficacy, and political participation. The most important part of this study was examining the mediating role of political efficacy between social media use and political participation in mainland China. Internal political efficacy and external political efficacy are two dimensions of political efficacy that were separately examined in this study. The results revealed that internal political efficacy can mediate between social media use and political participation. However, external political efficacy cannot mediate social media use and political participation. The additional findings are related to gender, age, and educational level. Chinese males scored higher on average in social media use, internal political efficacy, and political participation than females. Chinese females measured a higher on external political efficacy score than males. In addition, Chinese young adults have more social media use related to politics than older adults. On the other hand, Chinese older adults have higher internal political efficacy and external political efficacy than younger adults. Furthermore, higher educational level is a strong predictor of political participation.