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Is Facebook Depressing?: A quantitative study investigating if intensive use of facebook can be linked to development of depressive symptoms among young adults.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate if intensive facebook usage can lead to the development depressive symptoms among young adults. The study was conducted quantitatively by distributing 65 questionnaires to students at the University of Gävle. The questionnaires were composed to test the student’s levels of self-esteem, social comparison on facebook and facebook intensity. The data collected was analyzed using IBM SPSS 20 as an analysis tool for frequency descriptions. Using the social rank, social compensation and social comparison theories, theoretical conclusions were made to verify or de-verify the hypotheses.

 The study found that facebook usage in itself does not cause depression Symptoms but rather creates a platform were individuals can compare each other thereby developing feelings of envy, social anxiety, jealousy, inadequacy and inferiority. It was also found that it is not easy to tell if facebook intensity lead to low self- Esteem or individuals with low Self-Esteem tend to have high facebook intensity. The study also found that the association between facebook usage and depressive symptoms was a bit different when it came to gender.

 Through this study the author hopes to contribute to the knowledge needed by social workers and parents for understanding young adult’s usage of social media and the psychological impact created by intensive use of facebook. This knowledge could be used to help social workers and parents to monitor and encourage healthy usage of social media to avoid potential problems connected to social media such as addiction, depression, anxiety, bullying and unhealthy social comparisons.


Key words: Self-esteem, Depression, Social anxiety, Facebook, subjective happiness, satisfaction with life, Gävle, Social media, Gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 41 p.
Keyword [en]
Facebook, depression, social media, self-esteem.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20149Archive number: SGSOK-INSA-2015-5OAI: diva2:848684
Subject / course
Social work
Educational program
Social work – specialisation in international social work (in eng)
Available from: 2015-08-31 Created: 2015-08-25 Last updated: 2015-08-31Bibliographically approved

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