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Title: Passive and active Facebook use in adolescents : impact on mood depending on level of social anxiety
Author: Jagger, Debbie
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 8991
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
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Social Networking Sites (SNS) have become increasingly popular since the advent of Facebook in 2004. Facebook remains the most visited social media platform with a total of 41 million internet users aged 13+. Adolescents are vulnerable to mental health difficulties and this, along with the prevalence of SNS use, has led to concerns about the impact on their wellbeing. Adolescents are vulnerable to mental health difficulties, including social anxiety, at a time when there is increased emphasis on the importance of social and peer relationships. Facebook provides an ideal platform to satisfy adolescents' need to belong. Adolescents with social anxiety may have increased vulnerability to potentially negative consequences of Facebook use on mood. The cognitive model of social anxiety suggests that those with social anxiety will tend to use Facebook passively (browsing one's newsfeed or others' profiles, or searching for information about friends). Passive use may result in negative psychological consequences if adolescents compare themselves with others, in line with social comparison theory. Active Facebook use (interactions between the user and Facebook friends) may be beneficial for those with higher social competence according to the 'rich get richer' hypothesis, and also for those with lower social competence according to the 'poor get richer' hypothesis. If adolescents with high social anxiety usually use Facebook passively, as a safety behaviour, they might experience anticipatory anxiety if instructed to Facebook actively, thus experience reduced mood. The literature suggests that Facebook use can have positive implications on mental health when used to foster positive social interactions but detrimental effects when used passively for social comparison. To our knowledge there are no experimental studies that evaluate the relationship between high and low social anxiety, passive and active Facebook use and mood in adolescents. This experimental study aimed to evaluate this relationship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available