Date of Conferral







Susan Rarick


Social media is a medium of communication worldwide, but it is not clear whether there is a relationship between depression and the use of social media. The purpose of this research was to explore this possible relationship. The stress generation hypothesis of depression (SGHD) states that people with depression encounter higher rates of stress than their nondepressed counterparts. In the context of social media, people with depressive symptoms may use social media in ways that increase their stress and worsen their depressive symptoms. To test this hypothesis, this study was designed to determine whether a higher level of maladaptive Facebook use and lower social support is present among people with depressive symptoms. Data were collected via questionnaire from 156 volunteers and analyzed using regression analysis. The regression analysis results were that time spent on Facebook, and depressive symptoms were significantly predictive of both active and passive Facebook use. Neither depressive symptoms nor time on Facebook predicted active nonsocial usage style. Regression analysis also indicated that the social support subscales of attachment and integration support were predicted by depression and time spent on Facebook. A social implication of these findings is that social media use may benefit people with depression. Future research that explores the relationship between Facebook use and social support would have further social change implications by offering recommendations for specific types of Facebook usage to increase attachment and integration support.