Creative social media use and political participation in young people: The moderation and mediation role of online political expression

Alex Yue Feng ZHU, Alex Lih Shing CHAN, Kee Lee CHOU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


Educators and policymakers promote political participation in young people as a means to strengthen the legitimacy of democracy. Creative social media use has grown in popularity in the digital age; however, this creative usage still receives inadequate attention in the literature—particularly its association with political participation.

This study collected three-wave panel data from a sample of young people living in Hong Kong (56.9% male, mean age = 18.81, standard deviation = 2.70) and used cross-lagged structural equation modeling to evaluate the mediating and moderating roles of online political expression in the link between creative social media and political participation.

Results and conclusions
The results showed that creative social media use positively predicted political participation indirectly by the full mediation of enhanced online political expression. Findings did not reveal the moderation role of online political expression in the link between creative use of social media and political participation. Findings make important theoretical contributions in the field linking social media usage to political engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-117
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Early online date6 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


Bibliographical note

This study was funded by grants from the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme, Hong Kong SAR (Project Number 2014.A5.006.15A).


  • Creative use
  • Online political expression
  • Political participation
  • Social media

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