The Effects of Social Media on the Stigma of Mental Illness

Brea Fisher Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Krista Cline Butler University
This study examined the effects of social media networking sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) on the stigma of mental illness. Previous studies have consistently found that media, by means of TV shows, movies, and news reports, depict distorted views of the mentally ill. Previous studies have also consistently found that these media depictions have increased the stigma that exists around mental illness. This current study takes a step further and fills in the missing gap from previous research to include social media networking sites since they are newer and widely used forms of social media today. This study aims to answer the research question, “does the use of social media networking sites, and the negative posts on them, perpetuate the stigma of mental illness?” This study utilized a quantitative research design, in which a survey was used. In the survey, participants were asked to self-report social media use, perceptions of, and attitudes about mental illness, as well as posts they have seen on social media about mental illness. Participants were undergraduate college students at Butler University in a variety of different majors. The survey utilized a Likert-Type scale in which participants were asked to choose how much they agreed or disagreed with each statement regarding the variables of social media use, mental illness, and stigma.
Sociology
Oral Presentation

When & Where

11:15 AM
Jordan Hall 203