Social media use and adolescents’ well-being: A note on flourishing

BackgroundSeveral large-scale studies and reviews have reported both negative and positive associations of social media use with well-being, suggesting that the findings are more complex and need more nuanced study. Moreover, there is little or no exploration of how social media use in adolescence influences flourishing, a more all-encompassing construct beyond well-being, including six sub-domains (i.e., happiness, meaning and purpose, physical and mental health, character, close social relationships, and financial stability). This paper aims to fill this gap by understanding how adolescents might flourish through social media activities by fulfilling the basic needs pointed out by the Self-Determination Theory, i.e., relatedness, autonomy, and competence.MethodsThe study is drawn on cross-sectional data collected from 1,429 Swiss adolescents (58.8% females, Mage = 15.84, SDage = 0.83) as part of the HappyB project in Spring 2022. Self-reported measures included the Harvard Adolescent Flourishing scale, positive and negative online social experiences, self-disclosure on social media, and social media inspiration. Control variables included, among others, self-esteem, ill-being, and personality.ResultsAfter applying Bonferroni’s correction, results of the hierarchical regression analyses showed that positive social media experiences (β = 0.112, p 

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