Characteristics of Facebook Usage and Adjustment in Undergraduate Students

Despite the increasing popularity of social networking websites such as Facebook, research on how these online interaction platforms are related to users' social and emotional well-being has been lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine whether undergraduate students' Facebook attitudes and usage were associated with their typical coping strategy preferences. One hundred thirty undergraduate students (75% female) participated in an online study assessing their dispositional coping strategy preferences, their Facebook attitudes and usage, and their psychosocial adjustment. As expected, attitudes toward Facebook and measures of Facebook use (e.g., amount of time spent on Facebook per day and number of Facebook "Friends") were negatively related to problem-focused coping choices (e.g., active coping and planning) and positively related to emotion-focused coping choices (e.g., self-distraction, denial, and substance use). However, these relations held only for females. In addition, personal well-being was positively related to endorsement of problem-focused coping options, and negatively related to endorsement of emotion-focused coping options. These results are discussed in terms of potential gender differences in how social networking sites are used, and the implications of these differences in use for psychosocial adjustment are outlined.

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