Social media use and adolescents’ well-being: Developing a typology of person-specific effect patterns

Ine Beyens*, J. Loes Pouwels, Irene I. van Driel, Loes Keijsers, Patti M. Valkenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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This study investigated the effects of active private, passive private, and passive public social media use on adolescents’ affective well-being. Intensive longitudinal data (34,930 assessments in total) were collected through a preregistered three-week experience sampling method study among 387 adolescents. N = 1 time series were investigated, using Dynamic Structural Equation Modeling. Findings showed that different types of social media use very rarely yielded different effects within one and the same adolescent: 45% of adolescents experienced no changes in well-being due to any of the three types of social media use, 28% only experienced declines in well-being, and 26% only experienced increases in well-being. Only one adolescent experienced the theoretically expected effect pattern of a positive effect of active private and passive private use and negative effect of passive public use. Together, the findings suggest that the active–passive use dichotomy in social media research is less clear-cut than it might seem.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This preregistered study was funded by an NWO Spinoza Prize and an NWO Gravitation grant (NWO Grant 024.001.003; Consortium on Individual Development) awarded to Patti M. Valkenburg by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). Additional funding was received from an NWO VIDI grant (NWO VIDI Grant 452.17.011) awarded to Loes Keijsers by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


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