Honors Theses

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Laura J. Dixon

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) affects between 6.8% and 12.1% of the U.S. population. At the core of SAD is the fear of social situations, and in particular, the fear of others’ positive (FPE) and negative (FNE) evaluation. Studies have found that social media and online/indirect communication are commonly used to minimize the experience of stress, anxiety, evaluation, and rejection commonly associated with face-to-face interactions. As such, the aims of the current study were 1) to characterize communication and social media use among socially anxious college students, and 2) to examine associations between social media use and FNE and FPE. The results provide an interesting set of descriptive data, suggesting a high prevalence of FNE, FPE, and social media use. Contrary to predictions, no significant correlations between the variables were observed. The results indicate the relevance of social media and alternative forms of communication among socially anxious individuals. Future research should further investigate the function of social medial and communication patterns among socially anxious individuals.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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