Selfie-engagement on social media: pathological narcissism, positive expectation, and body objectification – which is more influential?

Boursier, V., Gioia, F. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2020. Selfie-engagement on social media: pathological narcissism, positive expectation, and body objectification – which is more influential? Addictive Behaviors Reports. ISSN 2352-8532

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The current use of social media platforms by active young users/creators of visual content provides an easy medium to achieve narcissistic goals of self-promotion and attention-seeking, and to socialize with self-objectification experiences. One of the most popular activities associated with social media use is selfie-sharing. Consequently, the global focus on online physical appearance approval could reinforce selfie-engagement as a specific body image-related behavior, potentially associated with selfie-marketing strategies for self-improvement, and problematic social media use. The present study evaluated the main direct effect of pathological narcissism, objectified body consciousness, and expectations toward selfies on young women’s and men’s selfie-engagement. A total of 570 young adults (66.8% females; mean age = 24.4 years, SD = 3.6) participated in an online survey study. Variables were assessed using the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (Fossati, Feeney, Pincus, Borroni, & Maffei, 2015), Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (Dakanalis et al., 2015), Selfie-expectancies Scale (Boursier & Manna, 2018), and a measure of selfie-engagement. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed on independent male and female subsamples. Results showed that body surveillance and positive selfie-expectancies are consistent selfie-behavior predictors, among both men (R2 = 0.227; p < .001) and women (R2 = 0.332; p < .001). Furthermore, findings confirm women’s involvement in appearance concerns and body-image related practices, even though men’s engagement in body-objectification deserve attention. The study provides novel findings in the field of self-objectification research as well as contributing to the ongoing debate concerning which psychological factors can be predictive of males' and females' selfie-engagement. The implications of these findings are also discussed in light of the debate on social media use and misuse.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Addictive Behaviors Reports
Creators: Boursier, V., Gioia, F. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 19 February 2020
ISSN: 2352-8532
S2352853219302330Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: © 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 25 Feb 2020 10:24
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2020 10:25

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