16. Individual Differences in College Students’ Social Media Addiction

Alysha Giltner Southeast Missouri State University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Stephen C. Nettelhorst Southeast Missouri State University
People are becoming increasingly fixated with online social media. Currently, social media addiction is not included in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM; American Psychiatric Association, 2013); however, it is currently recognized as a significant problem for many individuals. One important aspect of research regarding social media addiction is to investigate whether different types of people (e.g. personalities) are more likely to become addicted than others. This study used a between-participant quasi-experimental design to investigate whether individuals’ levels of loneliness and self-esteem predicted social media addiction. Participants in this study were undergraduate students enrolled in introductory psychology courses at a regional Midwestern university. The two subject variables were loneliness and self-esteem, and the dependent variable was social media addiction. The Rosenberg Self-esteem scale was used to assess self-esteem (Rosenberg, 1965). The UCLA Loneliness Scale was used to assess levels of loneliness (Russell, Peplau, & Cutrona, 1980). The results showed that loneliness significantly predicted social media addiction. An odds ratio calculation found that participants were 1.45 times more likely to have social media addiction when the individual shows a high level of loneliness. Self-esteem did not significantly predict social media addiction and there was no significant interaction. As a result, social media addiction can develop from underlying personality factors and one should be self-aware when it comes to loneliness; due to loneliness predicating social media addiction.

Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library Lower Level