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Students' perceptions of the effect of social media ostracism on wellbeing

Students' perceptions of the effect of social media ostracism on wellbeing

Smith, Rebecca ORCID: 0000-0002-6459-0084, Morgan, Jessica and Monks, Claire ORCID: 0000-0003-2638-181X (2016) Students' perceptions of the effect of social media ostracism on wellbeing. Computers in Human Behavior, 68. pp. 276-285. ISSN 0747-5632 (doi:

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Two studies were conducted to examine perceptions of online social media ostracism among school and university students in order to further test Williams' need threat model. In both studies, participants were randomly assigned to read a vignette describing either inclusion or exclusion on Facebook, they were asked to imagine that they were the target of this inclusion/exclusion, and to estimate how they would feel. In study 1 (N = 61, Mean age = 16.98), participants in the excluded condition estimated a significantly higher threat to their sense of belonging compared to their sense of self-esteem, control and meaning. Study 2 (N = 172, Mean age = 18.83) replicated and extended these findings by comparing school and University students' views of social media ostracism whilst controlling for their technological familiarity with Facebook. Both school and university students detected social media ostracism and anticipated impacts on their mood and psychological needs. Social media vignette interacted with educational institution demonstrating that university students perceived social media ostracism more negatively and social media inclusion more positively. Taken together, these findings suggest that whilst both school and university students perceive social media ostracism as psychologically painful, those in their first year at University, who are particularly reliant on online social media, may be more sensitive to the potential effects of exclusion and inclusion on this platform.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ostracism; Inclusion; Exclusion; Online communication; Social networking; Cyberbullying
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Applied Psychology Research Group
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2020 08:55

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