Correlates of Facebook usage patterns: The relationship between passive Facebook use, social anxiety symptoms, and brooding

Ashley M. Shaw, Kiara R. Timpano, Tanya B. Tran, Jutta Joormann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

Facebook (FB)1 is a popular platform for interacting with others to establish or maintain relationships. Compared to other interpersonal exchanges, FB does not require in-person interactions. Therefore, FB may represent an important social sphere for individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD).2 Examining the relationship between social anxiety symptoms and FB activity could inform future research on the benefits or consequences of FB use in SAD individuals. This study examined the relationship between social anxiety symptoms and different FB usage patterns. We also considered the role of brooding - a known risk factor for SAD. 75 nonclinical FB users completed questionnaires about psychological symptoms, FB usage, and brooding. Greater social anxiety symptoms were associated with spending more time on FB and passively using FB (i.e., viewing other's profiles without interacting). Brooding mediated the relationship between passive FB use and social anxiety symptoms. An alternative model demonstrated that social anxiety symptoms mediated the association between passive FB use and brooding. This study was limited by its cross-sectional, self-report design. Future research should assess FB use with objective, real-time data and use experimental designs. Results have implications for the cognitive-behavioral model of SAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-580
Number of pages6
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume48
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2015

Keywords

  • Brooding
  • Facebook use
  • Rumination
  • Social anxiety
  • Social networking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Correlates of Facebook usage patterns: The relationship between passive Facebook use, social anxiety symptoms, and brooding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this