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Longitudinal Associations Between Adolescent Social Media Use and Depressive Symptoms: The Roles of Appearance-Related Social Media Consciousness and Gender

Maheux, Anne (2020) Longitudinal Associations Between Adolescent Social Media Use and Depressive Symptoms: The Roles of Appearance-Related Social Media Consciousness and Gender. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Social media use among adolescents is nearly ubiquitous and has been associated with heightened depressive symptoms, especially for girls. Increasingly, researchers are considering the role of subjective social media experiences as driving this association, rather than mere frequency of use. Key features of adolescent development (e.g., importance of peers), aspects unique to social media use (e.g., highly visual platforms), and cultural norms of gender socialization (e.g., girls value their physical appearance more), make adolescents, especially girls, vulnerable to a particular social media experience: appearance-related social media consciousness (ASMC). ASMC is the preoccupation with one’s physical attractiveness in social media photos and has been found to be cross-sectionally associated with depressive symptoms above and beyond frequency of social media use. The present study assessed this association longitudinally with a diverse sample of adolescents (Mage = 16.19, 55.8% female, 50.9% White, 24.5% Black, 28.2% Hispanic) in a high school setting in the Southeastern U.S. Analyses compared the role of ASMC as a moderator or mediator of the association between time spent on social media and depressive symptoms one year later. ASMC was associated longitudinally with increased depressive symptoms, though it did not mediate or moderate the link between time on social media and depressive symptoms in the full sample. However, among girls only, ASMC did mediate this association, suggesting that increased ASMC may help explain the link between time on social media and depressive symptoms among adolescent girls. Potential gender differences in vulnerability to highly-visual, appearance-based social media use, as well as implications for intervention, are discussed.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Maheux, Anneajm303@pitt.eduajm3030000-0003-1308-5798
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairChoukas-Bradley, Sophiascb.1@pitt.eduscc500000-0002-9973-8747
Committee MemberSilk, Jenniferjss4@pitt.edujss40000-0002-8638-4337
Committee MemberSchumann, Karinakschumann@pitt.edukschumann0000-0002-9907-2383
Date: 8 June 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 April 2020
Approval Date: 8 June 2020
Submission Date: 7 April 2020
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 72
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: adolescence; social media; depressive symptoms; appearance concerns
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 15:22
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 15:22
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/38612

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