Social Media Motives, Well-Being And Flourishing Among Housewives: A Structural Model


Social media is not a new topic in academic research, nor in policy making and societal issues. The usage of social media has grown so rapid that leads to various issues, yet little is known about why Malaysian women, especially the housewives use social media and the effects associated with well-being and flourishing. Although literatures on motives for using social media among women is enlightening, but the findings may not reflects the full spectrum of social media motives among Malaysian housewives due to some unique affordances. This study explores housewives’ motives of social media usage and its effects on their well-being and flourishing. Five motives are proposed namely Escapism, Information Seeking, Friendship Maintenance, Relationship Initiation, and Nostalgia, which were then tested for with Well-being and Flourishing. 268 housewives in Malaysia, who are active users of social media in daily lives were surveyed. PLS-SEM were employed to test the hypotheses. The findings show that motives of social media usage among housewives have significant and positive impact on both well-being and flourishing. This study provides insight on the effects of social media motives on women’s psychological state especially well-being and flourishing.

Keywords: Flourishing, housewives, motives, social media, well-being


Social media grow drastically over the years. Even though social media are seen as fun to use, provide great companionship, and resourceful, they also provide various negative effects to the users, regardless of gender and other demographic background. Tran (2020) revealed that more women than men used Instagram, while Pew Internet Research (2017) revealed that women outnumbered men in Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest usage, men only get the better of the LinkedIn, while Twitter equal. Social media were also found to have a significant role and impacts towards the life of women especially in communicating their voice (Chaniago, 2020) while Nurfalah et al. (2020) highlight the positive effects of social media among housewives.

Intelligent and ingenious housewives should also pursue new knowledge and conducts to improve their decision-making capabilities, or even a change of family attitudes when required (Divatia & Patel, 2017; Tripathi & Al-Shahri, 2016). An example of women empowerment in the social media has been demonstrated by a group of housewives in Hyderabad, India (Gogoi, 2019). They have taken the advantage of social media and social commerce site to attract investors and has been seen as the wave of social media entrepreneurship in India. There is no doubt that women, especially housewives, are the anchor in influencing a decision-making process by their followers or customers (Wardana, 2018). Women should involve in gaining technological skills to take advantage of social media (Odine, 2013). Thus, with the appropriate knowledge in managing social media, women especially housewives may be at a lead in attracting cohorts with well-being and flourished through social media.

Problem Statement

Thus far, the usage of social media is recorded not for positive context per se, and it involved incremental figure in financial commitment. Consumers, including women, spend a huge amount of money for fee subscription, monthly charges, etc, but mostly for leisure, entertainment, and social purposes (Malaymail Online, 2016). This is also true for housewives who are active users of social media, which bring us to the questions of why they spent money on social media and for what reasons? Focus on social media usage among housewives and effects in their life are also being emphasized by Divatia and Patel (2017). In addition, many studies focused on younger social media users such as university students (Hamid et al., 2015), and children (Rahi, 2015) but not many put focus on women and housewives.

Lack of confidence among housewives in utilizing social media to enhance their economic stability has also hindered opportunities in moving forward. Given the right guidance and information, housewives are among those who can benefit from this phenomenon (Ging, 2015). Studies also found that women suffered more from the usage of social media as compared to men. Sei-Ching (2016) found that women were more affected with social media which include too much information while men on the unconnected and obsolete information. Another comparison, a housewife and a working women on psychological domain found that there was a significant difference (Ahmad & Khan, 2018). They found that housewives had poorer mental health and lower self-esteem, with depression which is a result from an unhealthy social life. In another perspective, Al-Saggaf’s (2017) study on female users found more lonely users exposed sensitive and non-sensitive information on Facebook as compared to not-lonely female users. Similarly, according to Sjoraida et al. (2020, p. 26), “life of housewives who does the same thing with repeatedly (routine) will experience the symptoms of stress, let alone the housewife had previously been working in the office”. Therefore, housewives tend to eradicate those sentiments by presence active in social media and by gaining constructive frame of mind from their virtual existence.

Research Questions

Using social media as a basis of the study, the following research questions were proposed:

  • What are the motives for using social media among housewives?
  • How are the motives of social media usage associated with housewives’ well-being and flourishing?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is twofold:

  • to identify the motives for using social media among housewives
  • to examine the social media motives associated with housewives’ well-being and flourishing

Research Methods

This research adopts a cross-sectional online survey. Participants of the survey were selected via snowball sampling and the main criteria for selection of respondents is housewives who actively use social media in daily lives and can be reached via social media, especially Facebook and WhatsApp. The instrument for the survey was a set of questionnaire consisting the demographic profile of the respondents, and constructs which were adapted from two main references, namely Motives of Using Social Media by Yang and Liu (2017), and Flourishing Scale and Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE) by Diener et al., (2010). The instrument used a 5-point Likert-type scale (1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree) and data were analysed using SmartPLS software for Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM)


This section highlights the findings of the research, which were divided into the demographic profile of the respondents and the effects of motives of social media usage towards housewives’ well-being and flourishing.

Demographic Profile of Respondents

As shown in Table 1, a total of 268 housewives responded to the online survey. Age range of the respondents is beween 21 to 70 years old and mean age is 37.6 years old. Majority are Malays (91.8%), live in urban area (78.4%), while household income and household members varies. The most dominant social media applications are WhatsApp (98.5%) and Facebook (90.3%), while the duration of usage varies from 1 to more than 7 hours daily.

Table 1 - Demographic Profile of the Respondents (n=268)
See Full Size >

Motives Associated with Housewives’ Well Being and Flourishing

What are the motives for using social media among housewives of different income groups?

The respondents utilise social media for various motives namely for escapism from reality, information-seeking, maintenance of existing friendships, creating new friendships, and nostalgia. Among the highest mean values were using social media to treat boredom (M=3.11), using social media to find out about current activities (M=4.21), to find recipes (M=4.11), to find tips for childcare (M=3.93) and for health (M=4.02). They also used social media to socialize with friends (M=3.58), to interact with other social media users (M=3.15), and to bring back the nostalgia of the past (M=3.03). In terms of well-being of the women, the highest mean is a variable related to I lead a purposeful and meaningful life (M=4.35), and I am a good person and live a good life (M=4.03). It is interesting to highlight that the housewives also have positive flourish which scored higher as compared to the negative indicators (M>2.99).

How are the motives of social media usage associated with housewives’ well-being and flourishing?

The effects of the motives of social media usage towards housewives’ well-being and flourishing were analysed using the measurement model which assessed the individual indicator reliability, cross-loadings, composite reliability, average variance extracted (AVE), and Fornell–Larcker criterion. In order to assess the internal consistency, the composite reliability was utilised (Hair et al., 2014; Hair et al., 2010). As shown in Table 2, after the assessment of the measurement model was conducted, the composite reliability values for all the constructs were found to be greater than the recommended value of 0.70 (Fornell & Larcker, 1981; Hair et al., 2014), in which the MPKH, MPM, MPP, MPHB, MPN, were between 0.881 and 0.923 and values for WBS, FS_Pos and FS_Neg were 0.884, 0.907 and 0.901, respectively, thus, the internal consistency was achieved. In addition, the convergent validity of the constructs were employed to assess the AVE and individual indicator reliability. As recommended by Hair et al. (2014) in which the AVE should be greater than 0.50, the AVE values for MPKH, MPM, MPP, MPHB, and MPN were between 0.552 and 0.759, while the AVE values for WBS, FS_Pos and FS_Neg were 0.522, 0.621 and 0.602). Hence, the results of the measurement model specified that all the constructs passed the convergent validity and discriminant validity criterion as shown in Tables 2 and 3.

Table 2 - Convergence Validity and Internal Consistency Reliability
See Full Size >
Table 3 - Discriminant Validity Based on Fornell-Larcker Criteria
See Full Size >

To assess the variability of the sample data, a bootstrapping procedure was also conducted. The results for the overall effects of the structural model are shown in Table 4. All relationships are proved to have significant positive relationships, thus all the hypotheses are supported.

Table 4 - Overall Effects
See Full Size >

This study has shed light on the motives of housewives’ usage of social media and the effects towards well-being and flourishing. All motives were proved to have significant positive relationships. In addition, this study contributes to the expansion of U&G theory which tested empirically the overall effects of motives of using social media on housewives’ well-being and flourishing. Thus, it helps to further elucidate the associations between the effects of social media on human psychology, especially well-being and flourishing. The findings are in line with Tripathi and Al-Shahri (2016) and Divatia and Patel (2017) which found the pattern of social media usage among housewives to be varied and that the housewives have explored new ways of life by using social media without leaving the house. The effects of social media motives towards housewives’ well-being and flourishing are also parallel with Nurfalah et al. (2020).


The role of women especially housewives in developing family and community is undeniable. They are also the backbone of the well-being of family life, which can ultimately translate into steady national progress. Housewives are deemed critical in the modern world today because they are the backbone that can support family and community to survive and be competitive. This article has discussed findings on the motives of using social media towards the housewives’ well-being and flourishing. Results indicated that the motives of using social media are directly related to their well-being and flourishing, thus it affects the overall psychological state of the housewives.


This study is supported by the UUM CoE/RU grant, awarded by Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), S/O Code: 13751. We would also like to extend our appreciation to Suri Rumah Rahmah, an NGO which have helped us tremendously throughout this research.


  • Ahmad, M., & Khan, A. (2018). Quality of life among married working women and housewives. Singaporean Journal of Social Science, 1(1), 11-16.

  • Al-Saggaf, Y. (2017). Information sharing on Facebook by alone, single and lonely female users. SEARCH: The Journal of the South East Asia Research Centre for Communications and Humanities, 9(1), 97-116.

  • Chaniago, R. H. (2020). Media sosial, alat komunikasi alternatif suara wanita: satu kajian mengenai peranan wanita berhijab dalam sub-budaya muzik metal di Indonesia [Social Media, Alternative Communication Tools for Women’s Voice: The Study of Women’s Veiled Role in Metal Subculture Music Indonesia]. Jurnal Komunikasi Malaysian Journal of Communication, 36(2), 33-51.

  • Diener, E., Wirtz, D., Tov, W., Kim-Prieto, C., Choi, D., Oishi, S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2010). Flourishing scale and scale of positive and negative experience (SPANE). Social Indicators Research, 97, 143-156.

  • Divatia, A., & Patel, M. (2017). A study on selected social media applications usage practices of homemakers, International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 7(6), 336-343.

  • Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketting Research, 18, 39–50. DOI:

  • Ging, Y. T. (2015, May 17). Social media allows housewives to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit…and earn big bucks. The Malay Mail.

  • Gogoi, A. (2019). India’s housewife-entrepreneurs turn a profit from social media. Nikkei Asian Review.

  • Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

  • Hair, J. F., Hult, G. T., Ringle, C., & Sarstedt, M. (2014). A primer on partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  • Hamid, N. A., Ishak, M. S., & Yazam, S. S. N. M. (2015). Facebook, YouTube and Instagram: Exploring their effects on undergraduate students’ personality traits. Journal of Social Media in Society, 4(2), 138-165.

  • Malaymail Online. (14 August 2016). Ahli akademik: Tagih internet lima jam sehari ancam psikologi belia [Academician: Internet addiction five hours a day threatens youth psychology].

  • Nurfalah, N., Hamid, N. A., Ishak, M. S., Rashid, S. M., & Nuruddin (2020). Motives of social media usage and effects to housewives well-being in Cirebon City Indonesia. International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 24(2), 2189-2212. DOI:

  • Odine, M. (2013). Role of social media in the empowerment of Arab women.

  • Pew Internet Research. (2017). Social media fact sheet. 16th March 2017

  • Rahi, B. (2015). Media Watch. 6(3), p.318-325.

  • Sei-Ching, J. S. (2016). Social media and problematic everyday life information-seeking outcomes: Differences across use frequency, gender, and problem-solving styles, Journal of The Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(8), 1793–1807.

  • Sjoraida, D. F., Anwar, R. K., Rizal, E., & Rejeki, D. S. (2020). The existence of housewives in the Instagram. Record and Library Journal, 6(1), 24–30.

  • Tran, T. (2020). Instagram demographics that matter to social media marketers in 2020.

  • Tripathi, S., & Al-Shahri, M. (2016). Omani Community in Digital Age: A study of Omani Woman Using Back Channel Media to Empower Themselves for Frontline Entrepreneurship.

  • Wardana, L. W. (2018). The role of Facebook as a social media marketing on housewives’ start-up business. Jurnal Entrepreneur dan Entrepreneurship, 7(2), 79–86.

  • Yang, C., & Liu, D. (2017). Motives matter: Motives for playing Poke´mon Go and implications for well-being. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 20(1), 52-57.

Copyright information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

About this article

Publication Date

10 June 2021

eBook ISBN



European Publisher



Print ISBN (optional)


Edition Number

1st Edition




Technology, communication, social media, crisis management, organisational communication, pandemic, advertising

Cite this article as:

Hamid, N. A., Ishak, M. S., & Rashid, S. M. (2021). Social Media Motives, Well-Being And Flourishing Among Housewives: A Structural Model. In C. S. Mustaffa, M. K. Ahmad, N. Yusof, M. B. M. H. @. Othman, & N. Tugiman (Eds.), Breaking the Barriers, Inspiring Tomorrow, vol 110. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 473-481). European Publisher.