Contributions of Social Comparison and Self-Objectification in Mediating Associations between Facebook Use and Emergent Adults' Psychological Well-Being

Emily Hanna, L. Monique Ward, Rita C. Seabrook, Morgan Jerald, Lauren Reed, Soraya Giaccardi, Julia R. Lippman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although Facebook was created to help people feel connected with each other, data indicate that regular usage has both negative and positive connections to well-being. To explore these mixed results, we tested the role of social comparison and self-objectification as possible mediators of the link between Facebook use and three facets of psychological well-being: self-esteem, mental health, and body shame. Participants were 1,104 undergraduate women and men who completed surveys assessing their Facebook usage (minutes, passive use, and active use), social comparison, self-objectification, and well-being. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling, testing separate models for women and men. Models for each gender fit the data well. For women and men, Facebook use was associated with greater social comparison and greater self-objectification, which, in turn, was each related to lower self-esteem, poorer mental health, and greater body shame. Mediated models provided better fits to the data than models testing direct pathways to the mediators and well-being variables. Implications are discussed for young people's social media use, and future directions are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • mental health
  • objectification
  • social comparison
  • Social networking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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