Master's Theses

Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Dr. Leo Herrman


Social media has become an integral part of young adult’s lives today. It has moved well beyond simple entertainment, and now can have a profound effect on many areas of functioning. The current study examines various aspects of well-being to see if there is a connection between social media use and global well-being. The participants for this study were 217 undergraduate students from Fort Hays State University. Participants completed a survey designed to measure overall well-being and broad aspects of overall well-being that included the Public Health Surveillance Well-Being Scale (PHS-WB), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), the Relationship Assessment Scale (RAS), and the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS). It was hypothesized that greater social media use would have a negative effect on one's self report of well-being. Results did not indicate a significant relationship between social media use and the measure of overall well-being (PHS-WB) or the measure of relationship satisfaction (RAS). However, results did indicate that participants who used social media more had lower scores on the measure of self-esteem (RSES) and higher scores on the measure of social physique anxiety (SPAS). Further analysis also showed that the RSES, RAS, and SPAS had a significant relationship with the PHS-WB, implying that all three measure aspects of well-being. These results suggest that while social media use did not appear to have a significant relationship with overall well-being or relationship satisfaction, it did have a significant relationship with self-esteem and social physique anxiety. Results supported previous research that showed that social media has a complicated relationship with well-being, that can be influenced by a number of factors, including self-esteem. Results also supported research that showed that social media can have a negative effect on self-esteem and body satisfaction. However, these results were contradictory to research which showed that social media use can have a negative effect on relationship satisfaction.


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Copyright 2014 Clayton Howard

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