Does social comparison and Facebook addiction lead to negative mental health? A pilot study of emerging adults using structural equation modelling

Casingcasing, M.L.S., Nuyens, F.M. ORCID: 0000-0002-8125-5229, Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524 and Park, M.S. ORCID: 0000-0002-1269-6856, 2022. Does social comparison and Facebook addiction lead to negative mental health? A pilot study of emerging adults using structural equation modelling. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science. ISSN 2366-5963

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Recent research has observed that among the ever-increasing young users of social networking sites (e.g., Facebook), some present problematic use similar to other behavioral addictions. While regular use of Facebook is not systematically associated with mental health disorders, its addictive use has been consistently associated with higher level of depression and loneliness. Therefore, further research is needed in studying the separate impacts of regular and addictive Facebook use on young adults’ lives. The present study explored the role of Facebook addiction and social comparison on mental health and types of social networking sites (SNSs) usage (i.e., active versus passive usage), hypothesizing that addiction and social comparison will predict negative mental health outcomes and higher SNS usage. The study sample comprised 280 students at a British university. The data were analyzed using structural equation modelling to test for the significance of the relationships between these variables as well as the appropriateness of the overall hypothesised model. Results demonstrated that Facebook addiction significantly predicted depression, loneliness, and both active and passive SNS usage, and social comparison significantly predicted the level of depression significantly. The overall model also demonstrated a good fit which indicates that the hypothesized associations between the variables were strong. It is argued that the association between Facebook addiction and mental health could be a vicious cycle because no causation direction can be excluded. The implications of the study findings and future research directions are also discussed.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science
Creators: Casingcasing, M.L.S., Nuyens, F.M., Griffiths, M.D. and Park, M.S.
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Date: 7 December 2022
ISSN: 2366-5963
Rights: © Crown 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 09 Dec 2022 16:47
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 16:47

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