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J Affect Disord. 2013 Nov;151(2):525-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.06.038. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

The interpersonal effects of Facebook reassurance seeking.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA. Electronic address:



Social networking sites like Facebook represent a potentially valuable means for individuals with low self-esteem or interpersonal difficulties to connect with others; however, recent research indicates that individuals who are most in need of social benefits from Facebook may be ineffective in their communication strategies, and thereby sabotage their potential to benefit interpersonally. The current study tested whether reassurance seeking via Facebook negatively influenced self-esteem, and whether this change in self-esteem mediated the relationship between Facebook reassurance seeking and greater thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness.


Participants completed measures online at two time-points approximately 24 days apart.


Results provided evidence that Facebook reassurance seeking predicted lower levels of self-esteem, which in turn predicted increased feelings that one does not belong and that one is a burden.


Key limitations to this study include our use of a predominantly young, female, Caucasian sample, a novel reassurance seeking measure, and only evaluating two time points.


These results suggest that Facebook usage has the potential for negative and far-reaching influences on one's interpersonal functioning.

Published by Elsevier B.V.


Belongingness; Burdensomeness; Facebook; Reassurance seeking; Relationships; Self-esteem

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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