Year 2019, Volume 20, Issue 1, Pages 35 - 52 2019-01-01

Exploring the Relationship Between ICT Use, Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study

Donald VAN DER MERWE [1]

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Whereas there exists a complex pattern of interrelated factors that act as determinants of the successful implementation of ODL in developing countries, most point at differences in access, use of, or impact of ICT. In addressing an area of research that has not received any attention, this study reports on an investigation into the relationship between ICT use patterns, selected mental health symptoms and the emotional, social and psychological well-being of the historically disadvantaged ODL student in the South African context of disparities. Data collected from 315 students in online survey revealed medium ICT use, higher computer use by working students compared to full-time students, a low prevalence of computer overuse symptoms, medium loss of sleep and a preference for individualized and non-collaborative activities that require minimalistic use of ICT. Differences between the ICT use scores of students who reported symptoms of stress and sleep disturbances and those who did not report symptoms were not significant, while the majority of students were diagnosed as moderately mentally healthy or flourishing. A significant relationship was found between working students’ ICT use scores and reduced performance, as well as between their ICT use scores and their social, emotional and psychological well-being scores. The strengths of the well-being relationships, however, ranged from weak to very weak. No significant relationships were reported for full-time students, nor for both groups between their ICT use scores and total mental health scores. The study concluded that in the context studied, ICT use patterns hold no risk factors for the mental health and well-being of the historically disadvantaged ODL student.

Open distance learning, student well-being, mental health symptoms, historically disadvantaged student, developing countries, ICT use patterns
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Primary Language en
Subjects Social
Journal Section Articles

Orcid: 0000-0002-0710-3366
Author: Donald VAN DER MERWE (Primary Author)

Bibtex @research article { tojde522373, journal = {Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education}, issn = {1302-6488}, address = {Anadolu University}, year = {2019}, volume = {20}, pages = {35 - 52}, doi = {10.17718/tojde.522373}, title = {Exploring the Relationship Between ICT Use, Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study}, key = {cite}, author = {VAN DER MERWE, Donald} }
APA VAN DER MERWE, D . (2019). Exploring the Relationship Between ICT Use, Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 20 (1), 35-52. DOI: 10.17718/tojde.522373
MLA VAN DER MERWE, D . "Exploring the Relationship Between ICT Use, Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study". Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 20 (2019): 35-52 <>
Chicago VAN DER MERWE, D . "Exploring the Relationship Between ICT Use, Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study". Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 20 (2019): 35-52
RIS TY - JOUR T1 - Exploring the Relationship Between ICT Use, Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study AU - Donald VAN DER MERWE Y1 - 2019 PY - 2019 N1 - doi: 10.17718/tojde.522373 DO - 10.17718/tojde.522373 T2 - Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education JF - Journal JO - JOR SP - 35 EP - 52 VL - 20 IS - 1 SN - 1302-6488- M3 - doi: 10.17718/tojde.522373 UR - Y2 - 2018 ER -
EndNote %0 Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education Exploring the Relationship Between ICT Use, Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study %A Donald VAN DER MERWE %T Exploring the Relationship Between ICT Use, Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study %D 2019 %J Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education %P 1302-6488- %V 20 %N 1 %R doi: 10.17718/tojde.522373 %U 10.17718/tojde.522373
ISNAD VAN DER MERWE, Donald . "Exploring the Relationship Between ICT Use, Mental Health Symptoms and Well-Being of the Historically Disadvantaged Open Distance Learning Student: A Case Study". Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 20 / 1 (January 2019): 35-52.