School of Behavioral Sciences


Master of Science in Psychology (MS)


Fred Volk


Attachment Style, Social Media Use, Self-esteem, Loneliness, Depression


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


An extensive amount of correlational research has well-established the link between insecure attachment style and subsequent adverse interpersonal and psychopathological outcomes. Moreover, the rise of social media has precipitated a shift in the methods by which individuals communicate; consequently, this has resulted in the shifting of preexisting dispositions toward dysfunctional behaviors to a more ubiquitous route of manifestation. Given that attachment literature has indicated notable differences in both underlying mechanisms and resulting outcomes of both avoidant and anxious attachment, examination of this alongside social media use provides valuable insight into potential relationships between the two. Further, research has examined the implications of each of these constructs in relation to self-esteem and loneliness; however, despite the extensive research, there remains a lack of consensus on the positive or negative implications of these interactions. Accordingly, much of the previous literature has neglected to examine the potential psychopathological implications following the combination of each of these constructs. A series of regression analyses revealed significant indirect effects between attachment style and depression. Results indicated a significant positive relationship between best friend attachment anxiety and social media usage; further examination revealed notable significant mediating roles of both self-esteem and loneliness in the indirect relationship between insecure attachment style and depression. Collectively, these findings not only extend research’s understanding of the complex dynamics amongst these variables, but it also advocates the value of further research into attachment style-specific outcomes.

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