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Social Media Use, Loneliness and Psychological Distress in Emerging Adults.

Taylor, Z., Yankouskaya, A. and Panourgia, K., 2023. Social Media Use, Loneliness and Psychological Distress in Emerging Adults. Behaviour and Information Technology. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2023.2209797


Social media plays a dominant role in emerging adults’ lives, with evidence showing that it can contribute to elevated levels of psychological distress. However, existing findings are contradictory, insofar as the connection between social media use (SMU) and psychological distress remains unclear. To gain a better insight into the above relationship, we focused on different styles of engagement with social media (active social, active non-social, and passive) and examined whether their impact on depression, anxiety and stress symptoms is mediated by loneliness. Data were collected via an online survey from 288 emerging adults in the UK. It was found that increased passive SMU was associated with higher anxiety, depression and stress symptoms; loneliness was associated with both SMU and psychological distress, while increased active non-social media use was associated with decreased stress. However, loneliness showed significant mediation effects only on the relation between passive SMU and psychological distress. Limitations, future research directions and suggestions for practice are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:social media use; anxiety; depression; stress; loneliness; emerging adults
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:38648
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:06 Jun 2023 09:47
Last Modified:19 Jun 2023 11:50


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