Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

5-2020

Department

Social Work

Degree Name

Master of Science

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Alan J. Lipps

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Rachel Slaymaker

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Sarah McLean

Abstract

Social media is a popular form of communication and entertainment among youth. Inconsistencies are present in the literature on the potential effects it can have on mental health. Depression and anxiety disorders are common among all age groups in the US, and this study aimed to determine the relationship social media has on symptoms of anxiety and depression. The Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS) and the GAD-7 were used to measure symptoms of anxiety, as well as the CES-D scale to evaluate depressive symptoms in adolescents. The number of social networking sites and number of hours spent on social media are two variables that measure social media usage and were analyzed among a sample of Communities In Schools (CIS) students. The majority of the sample identified as persons of color and were considered to be of low socioeconomic status according to the district guidelines. An exploratory study using a single measurement, correlational design was conducted to explore the relationship between social media and mental health, and a survey was completed among CIS students in four middle schools and two high school in a local school district (N=84). Several linear regression analyses were conducted to analyze the variance in scores on the SAS, GAD-7, and CESD scales as explained by social media factors. The findings show that the amount of time spent on social media and symptoms of depression were significantly related to one another, yet there appeared to be no relationship between symptoms of anxiety and social media usage.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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