Instagram Use, InstaMums, and Anxiety in Mothers of Young Children

VERRIER, Diarmuid and MOUJAES, Mara (2020). Instagram Use, InstaMums, and Anxiety in Mothers of Young Children. Journal of Media Psychology.

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    Abstract

    The emergence of social media has revolutionised communication and has had a profound effect on many aspects of motherhood. Image-centric social media, despite its overwhelming popularity, has faced much criticism for over idealistic portrayals and the pressures it may place on women throughout pregnancy and the early years of their child’s life. This research aimed to determine whether a significant relationship exists between postnatal anxiety and Instagram usage in mothers with young children. The associational, cross-sectional design uses a sample of 210 mothers, aged 22-45, who have one or more children aged under five. An online questionnaire measured anxiety, Instagram usage, and several potentially moderating traits. We found that the relationship between anxiety and online engagement with InstaMums – mothers made famous by Instagram – was moderated by both social comparison orientation and self-esteem. Engagement with InstaMums was associated with greater anxiety in those with higher social comparison orientation; it was also associated greater anxiety in those with lower self-esteem. These findings are discussed in connection with social comparison theory, implications for healthy social media use, as well as avenues for future research.

    Item Type: Article
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2020 09:04
    Last Modified: 24 Jun 2020 09:04
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/26496

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