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The current study tested the associations between self-efficacy, lack of connection to others, body image issues, and social media use. In previous studies, participants estimate social media use through self-evaluation likert scales (Salomon, Brown, 2019). In order to use a more accurate measure of time on social media, participants accessed time on social media from their personal cell phones.
Participants were 213 college students ages 18-49 (M = 20.47 years). They were approximately 63% women, 32% men, 1% other gender, and 93% White/non-hispanic/Latinx.
Perception of time on social media.
Neither self-efficacy (Œ≤ = .01, ns) nor lack of connection (.14, p = .06) significantly predicted perception of time on social media.Time on social media positively predicted body issues (Œ≤ = .18, p < .01).
Actual time on social media.
Neither self-efficacy (β = -.06, ns) nor lack of connection (.06, ns) significantly predicted actual time on social media. Actual time on social media positively predicted body issues (β = .17, p < .05).
Neither self-efficacy nor lack of connection significantly predicted actual time on social media. Actual time on social media positively predicted body issues.
The findings of this research concluded that although social media does affect the lives of many young adults. There was not a statistically significant correlation between young adults self-efficacy, connection to others, body image and their social media use.
One limitation of our study is not accounting for the time participants spend on social media on other devices. This may have resulted in an underestimation of actual hours on social media. An additional limitation is the inclusion of SONA participants which raises issues of generalizability.
Overall, the results suggest that although self-efficacy seems unrelated to time on social media, lack of belonging may be related to time on social media, and social media use may predict body image issues, but it depends on method of measuring time on social media.
Utah State University
Trimble, Sabrina, "Effects of Social Media on Young Adults: Self Efficacy, Body Image and Connection with Others" (2020). Fall Student Research Symposium 2020. 94.