Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Conflicting evidence has been found in the past regarding the overall effect of social media on mental health. Social media, when used as a means to combat feelings of loneliness and anxiety, may be a form of avoidance away from those considered undesirable feelings. Avoiding these feelings may ultimately intensify instead of minimizing them. The focus of this study is to examine the relationship between avoidant behaviors, loneliness, anxiety and social media use. It is predicted that social media use, loneliness and anxiety will all be predictors of avoidant behaviors. 150 college-aged participants will complete three previously established scales, measuring levels of anxiety, feelings of loneliness and tendency towards avoidant behaviors. Participants will also report their average hours per week spent on social media. Comparing the scores of the completed scales as well as the average time spent on social media may illustrate a correlation between avoidance, feelings of loneliness and anxiety, and the role that social media plays in each. It is hypothesized that feelings of loneliness, feelings of anxiety and time spent on social media will all be predictors of avoidant behaviors. It is also hypothesized that time spent on social media, loneliness and anxiety will all be positively correlated with each other. Addressing the effects of social media on mental health may aid in developing a useful framework by informing people of the ill effects inherent in social media and its use in perpetuating avoidant behaviors.
Baricevic, Mia, "The Impact of Constant Connectivity: Examining the Relationships Between Social Media, Loneliness, Anxiety and Avoidant Behaviors" (2021). Scripps Senior Theses. 1761.