Communication Faculty Publications and Presentations

Document Type


Publication Date



This study surveyed a random sample of social media users (N = 813) to examine how following political social media influencers (PSMIs) affects political interest and political trust. The study also examined whether political interest and political trust affect internal and external online political efficacy (OPE) and political participation. Structural equation analysis indicated that following a PSMI increased political interest and political trust, with a pronounced effect on political interest. Additionally, political interest boosted both internal and external OPE, while political trust boosted external OPE only. Mediated effects analysis indicated that political interest improved the relationship between following a PSMI and internal and external OPE, respectively, while political trust did not. However, neither type of OPE improved political participation.


Copyright © 2023 Ben Wasike.

Publication Title

International Journal of Communication

Included in

Communication Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.