Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Adolescents, media, social media, social relationships
Does the number of social media platforms that an adolescent uses have an effect on the quality of their social relationships? As social media continues to grow and evolve, sociologists have begun to explore its effect on an individual’s everyday life. I propose that the more social media platforms that an adolescent uses, the more they will experience negative effects on their social relationships. Using survey data from 786 respondents living in the United States, ages 13 to 17 and collected by the Pew Research Center in 2014 and 2015, regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationship between social media usage and its effect on quality of adolescent social relationships, controlling for sex and age. The bivariate results show a statistically significant, positive but weak association between number of social media platforms used and the social relationship experience scale. In the multivariate results, this association was still statistically significant. Additionally, the multivariate results show that the control variables, sex and age, have no significant effect on one’s social relationship experience. Therefore, these results show that the more social media platforms used, the more negative a social relationship experience an adolescent will have. The results support the hypothesis and indicate that adolescents who interact with a higher number of social media platforms will experience an increased negative effect on their social relationships. In future studies, researchers should investigate how specific social media platforms influence social relationships. Additionally, this type of research should not only continue, but should refine its methods as social media continues to quickly grow and evolve.
Saltzman, Sadie, "Social Media Usage and its Effect on Quality of Adolescent Social Relationships" (2019). Sociology Senior Seminar Papers. 26.