Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Young adults-Psychology, Young adults-Social networks, Social networks-Psychological aspects, Social media-Psychological aspects, Self-esteem in young adults, Facebook (Firm)-Psychological aspects, Well-being


This study explored the possible implications social media sites, such as Facebook, have on young adults' self-esteem. The phenomenon of online friend-networking sites has increased over the past decade, and utilizing such sites has become a part of daily living for many individuals. This study also examined how individuals present themselves online--whether they post photos or status updates that represent who they are, or by presenting their hoped for self, their best self, or who they think others want them to be. While the findings indicated that participants experience a range of feelings while utilizing the Facebook networking site, the majority of individuals reported experiencing an increase in self-esteem and feelings more connected to their 'friends' while utilizing the site. Two hundred and ninety six individuals completed an original mixed-methods online survey to examine how young individuals selectively present themselves on Facebook, and on whether they received the validation and support they expected to receive through their use of Facebook. The implications of Facebook interactions on their self-esteem was also examined. Generally, the findings revealed that individuals experience an increase in self-esteem and feelings of connectedness to their "friends'" while utilizing the Facebook networking site.




v, 99 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 55-57)