Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


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.


Dr. Leo Herrman

Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type



© 2014 Clayton Howard


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Psychology Commons