Links of motivational tendencies and self-esteem with social media addiction and moderating effects of relationship status

Göncü Köse A., Demircioğlu Z. I.

International Congress of Psychology, Moscow, Russia, 2 - 05 June 2019

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: Moscow
  • Country: Russia
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Problematic internet use is common and even may be on rise almost all over the world. To illustrate, recently the ratio of internet addiction among university students is reported to be 3.2% in UK, 3.9% in Italy and 4.2% in European countries and 1.2% in Turkey (e.g., Kuss, Griffiths, & Binder, 2013; Kaess et al., 2014; Kır & Sulak, 2014). Although detrimental effects of Social Media Addiction (SMA) had been focus of a number studies (e.g., Andreassen, Torsheim, Brunborg, & Pallesen, 2012); predictors of SMA haven’t been fully understood yet. The aim of the present research was to reveal effects of motivational tendencies and self-esteem on SMA. Motivational tendencies involved in the study were need for affiliation, need for approval and need for power. Need for approval and need power as well as self-esteem were proposed to be positively; need for affiliation was proposed to be negatively associated with SMA. In addition, moderating role of relationship status in the proposed relationships was investigated. Data was collected from 470 university students from Turkey [161 males, 309 females]. 242 of the participants had been in a romantic relationship at least for one month and 228 of them have not been in romantic relationship on the data collection date. The proposed regression model was tested using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and the data provided good fit to the data. The results revealed that the direct paths from need for approval and need for power to SMA were positive and significant; whereas, the direct path from self-esteem to SMA was negative and significant. The path from need for affiliation to SMA was not significant. However, moderated multiple regression analyses showed that interaction effect of relationship status and need for affiliation on SMA was significant in such a way that participants who were high on need for affiliation and who were not currently in a romantic relationship had higher SMA scores than those who were high on need for affiliation and who were currently in a romantic relationship. The results will be discussed regarding the theoretical and practical implications along with suggestions for future studies.      

Keywords: Social media addiction; need for affiliation; need for approval; need for power; self-esteem.