Through the Looking Glass of Social Media. Focus on Self-Presentation and Association with Mental Health and Quality of Life. A Cross-Sectional Survey-Based Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021, 18 (6), 3319. 10.3390/ijerph18063319
Social media (SOME) use among adolescents has been linked to mental health and well-being. SOME self-presentation has been highlighted as an important factor to better understand the potential links. The aims of this study were to investigate the association between focus on SOME self-presentation and mental health and quality of life among adolescents. We used a cross-sectional survey, with n = 513 (56%; mean age 17.1 years; 58% boys) students from a senior high school in Norway. Associations between focus on SOME self-presentation and symptoms of anxiety and depression and quality of life were investigated using blobbograms, standardized mean difference (SMD), and gender-specific linear regression models. A high focus on SOME self-presentation was associated with more mental health problems and reduced quality of life. The strength of the associations with symptoms of depression (0.75SMD) and anxiety (0.71SMD) was large, while it was medium-large for quality of life (−0.58SMD). The association was similar across gender in relation to symptoms of anxiety. For symptoms of depression and quality of life, the association was stronger for girls compared to boys. Our findings yield preliminary evidence of a potential relationship between focus on SOME self-presentation and mental health.