Presentation Title

The Effects of Social Media Use and Content on Self-Esteem and Perceived Physical Appearance in College Students

Location

Online - Session 1D

Start Date

4-21-2021 10:30 AM

Major Field of Study

Psychology

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor(s)

Veronica Fruiht, Phd

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The term “social media” refers to websites or apps allowing users to create their own content to be shared by others on the platform (Moreno & Kota, 2013). Today over 72% of Americans use some form of social media, with the highest proportion of users ranging between ages 18-29. Research suggests that frequent social media use is correlated with high depressive symptoms, reports of low self-esteem, and appearance anxiety (Choukas-Bradley et al. 2019; Sherlock & Wagstaff 2019). High social media use is also connected to body image issues, eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, and higher appearance comparison. Use of media is negatively related to perceived body acceptance by others, as well as lower self-objectification (Andrew et al., 2016). The goal of the present study is to determine the effects of social media use, content, and gender on self-esteem and perceived appearance in college students. Participants in this study consisted of 70 undergraduate college students actively using at least one social platform, contacted via Instagram and Snapchat. Participants were asked to complete a survey consisting of questions derived from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) and the physical appearance subscale of the Self-Perception Profile for College Students Scale (Harter & Neemann, 2012). Results are expected to support that college students who frequently use social media platforms have a lower self-esteem and perceived physical appearance, and that social media will have a larger negative impact on females than males. Results are also expected to show that fitness and beauty content predicts lower self-esteem and perceived physical appearance than other social media content. Our understanding of these differences could help college aged individuals recognize the impact of social media on their self-esteem and how they feel about themselves as a whole.

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Apr 21st, 10:30 AM

The Effects of Social Media Use and Content on Self-Esteem and Perceived Physical Appearance in College Students

Online - Session 1D

The term “social media” refers to websites or apps allowing users to create their own content to be shared by others on the platform (Moreno & Kota, 2013). Today over 72% of Americans use some form of social media, with the highest proportion of users ranging between ages 18-29. Research suggests that frequent social media use is correlated with high depressive symptoms, reports of low self-esteem, and appearance anxiety (Choukas-Bradley et al. 2019; Sherlock & Wagstaff 2019). High social media use is also connected to body image issues, eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, and higher appearance comparison. Use of media is negatively related to perceived body acceptance by others, as well as lower self-objectification (Andrew et al., 2016). The goal of the present study is to determine the effects of social media use, content, and gender on self-esteem and perceived appearance in college students. Participants in this study consisted of 70 undergraduate college students actively using at least one social platform, contacted via Instagram and Snapchat. Participants were asked to complete a survey consisting of questions derived from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) and the physical appearance subscale of the Self-Perception Profile for College Students Scale (Harter & Neemann, 2012). Results are expected to support that college students who frequently use social media platforms have a lower self-esteem and perceived physical appearance, and that social media will have a larger negative impact on females than males. Results are also expected to show that fitness and beauty content predicts lower self-esteem and perceived physical appearance than other social media content. Our understanding of these differences could help college aged individuals recognize the impact of social media on their self-esteem and how they feel about themselves as a whole.