The Mediating Roles of Upward Social Comparison and Self-esteem and the Moderating Role of Social Comparison Orientation in the Association between Social Networking Site Usage and Subjective Well-Being

Frontiers in Psychology. 2017;8 DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00771


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Frontiers in Psychology

ISSN: 1664-1078 (Online)

Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.

LCC Subject Category: Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Psychology

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

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Jin-Liang Wang (Laboratory for Mental Health and Social Adaptation, School of Psychology, Southwest UniversityChongqing, China)
Hai-Zhen Wang (Department of Tourism and Art for Humanity, Chongqing Youth and Vocational Technical CollegeChongqing, China)
James Gaskin (Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, ProvoUT, USA)
Skyler Hawk (Department of Educational Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong, China)


Blind peer review

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Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 14 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The increased pervasiveness of social media use has raised questions about potential effects on users’ subjective well-being, with studies reaching contrasting conclusions. To reconcile these discrepancies and shed new light on this phenomenon, the current study examined: (1) whether upward social comparison and self-esteem mediate the association between social networking site (SNS) usage and users’ subjective well-being, and (2) whether the association between SNS usage and upward social comparison is moderated by users’ social comparison orientation. Data from 696 participants were collected. Structural equation modeling revealed that upward social comparison and self-esteem mediated the relationship between SNS usage and users’ subjective well-being. We found that social comparison orientation moderated the association between passive SNS usage and users’ upward social comparison. Specifically, social comparison orientation strengthened the association between passive SNS usage and upward social comparison. The results might suggest a process through which passive SNS usage is related to subjective well-being, and identify a context under which these associations may differ.