Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Psychology-BS

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Dr. Meredith Meyer

First Committee Member

Dr. Cynthia Laurie-Rose

Second Committee Member

Dr. Stephanie Patridge

Keywords

Social Media, Well-Being, Adolescence, Development

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology | Social Psychology

Abstract

With more people using social media platforms at younger ages, it is imperative to understand the relationship between social media use and subjective well-being. Previous research regarding young adults and their use of social media has shown inconclusive results concerning frequency of social media use and well-being. The current study focused on a younger adolescent population and on their motivations for posting on social media as opposed to their general frequency of use. Thirty seven middle school students took an online survey asking questions regarding frequency of social media use, motivations for use, self esteem, life satisfaction, and source of perceived social support—family versus friend support. The findings indicated that, as predicted, frequency of use had no relationship with life satisfaction or self esteem. Furthermore, motivation for use was the sole significant predictor of life satisfaction compared to the other predictor variables. In other words, participants who use social media for positive motivations more frequently than negative motivations showed higher life satisfaction scores.

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