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Title: Social Comparison as a Potential Moderator of the Relationship between Social Media Use and Psychological Wellbeing in Young Adults
Contributor(s): Loi, Natasha M  (author)orcid ; Thorsteinsson, Einar B  (author)orcid ; Ebdell, Emily (author)
Publication Date: 2020-01-30
DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3516448
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Abstract: Social media is a pervasive part of young adults’ everyday lives and studies have suggested that there may be linkages between social media use, social comparison, and levels of depression and self-esteem. This study examines upward (comparing to someone perceived to be superior) and downward (comparing to someone perceived to be inferior) social comparison as potential moderators of the relationship between social media use and levels of depression and self-esteem in a sample of young adults. One hundred and seventy-three participants completed self-report measures of social comparison, depression, and self-esteem. Upward social comparison did not moderate the relationship between time spent on social media and depression or self-esteem. Downward social comparison, however, moderated the relationship between time spent on social media and levels of depression, however, no moderating effect was found for self-esteem. While it is unlikely that young adults will ever completely stop comparing themselves to others on social media, information and education can potentially help mitigate the often negative effects of such behaviour.
Publication Type: Working Paper
Publisher: Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
Place of Publication: New York, United States of America
Field of Research (FOR): 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Category Description: W Working Paper
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Appears in Collections:School of Psychology
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