Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Chris Dent 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Chris Dent. I am 23 years old, from County Dublin. I chose the practice path in second year as I have a keen interest in psychology. I decided to do my dissertation on social media usage and how it effects self-esteem among younger and older adults. I have always been fascinated by social media and its many beneficial uses. However, I felt that investigating whether there are negative aspects of social media usage between age groups could provide people with a better understanding of social media as a whole.

Project Description

The project I conducted was an online quantitative cross-sectional survey design. My study investigated the impact of social media usage (high/low) on self-esteem among younger and older adults. The online questionnaire was filled out by 139 participants. Rosenberg's Self-esteem Scale (RSES) and the General Social Media Usage Subscale from the Media and Technology Usage and Attitudes Scale (MTUAS) were used to measure the dependent variable of self-esteem and the independent variable of social media usage.

Project Objectives

The main objective of my study was to determine whether social media usage affects the self-esteem of younger and older adults differently.

Project Outcomes

The results indicated that there were no significant differences between younger and older adults’ social media usage on their self-esteem. Instead, the main finding of this study was that older adults had higher levels of self-esteem compared to younger adults regardless of their level of social media usage. The practical implication of this study is that younger adults have low self-esteem and a way around this issue could be to implement self-esteem promotion into the educational curriculum.

Thesis Title

Investigating the Impact of Social Media Usage on Self-esteem Among Younger and Older Adults