A recent study examined the relationship between online social interaction, perceived social support, self-esteem and psychological distress among teens.
Millions of users connect daily on social networking platforms. Traditional interaction is replaced by internet facelessness. The internet is used in many ways, but teens have found social media networks to be a tool where they can go to receive and offer support to other online members.
The goal of this particular study is to explore the effect of online interaction of these factors among youth. The hypothesis was that social interaction would have no effect at all on social support. Self-esteem would be negatively correlated with self-esteem and distress along with the previous hypothesis.
The survey covered 400 participants were surveyed through parametric and non-parametric measures. The Multidimensional Scale for Perceived Social Support, Self Esteem Scale and the K^ for psychological distress were all measures used. A 12-item scale was used to score on topics such as social support including family, friends and significant others.
The results showed that females received a higher social support from significant others than compared to males. Males reported lower levels of psychological distress and higher levels of self-esteem than females. 290 participants reported using a social networking platform and the primary use among those surveyed was to keep up with other friends via social networking.
A very high percentage of those surveyed were indeed using a social networking platform. The results of the study identified a direct link among self-esteem, psychological distress and the use of a social networking platform.
This study highlights Internet use and the psychological well-being of youth who are using the internet and social media. With social media becoming more and more accessible, this study recognized the need for consideration of unregulated internet activity among teens.
O’Dea, Bridianne & Campbell, Andrew. (2011). Online social networking amongst teens: Friend or foe?. Studies in health technology and informatics. 167. 133-8.