Although research has previously demonstrated social media use's effect on body satisfaction through appearance comparisons, the role of loneliness with respect to these variables remains unclear. The current study examined the relationships between loneliness, social media use, appearance comparisons, and body satisfaction in 311 young adults ages 17-29. Participants self-reported their active and passive social media use, body satisfaction, frequency of appearance comparisons, and loneliness. Associations between the main study variables were examined and a moderated mediation model whereby the relationship between social media use, appearance comparison, and body satisfaction was conditional on loneliness was implemented. Loneliness was positively correlated with appearance comparisons and negatively correlated with body satisfaction but was not associated with active (p = .59) or passive social media use (p = .99). Loneliness did not moderate the relationships between social media use, appearance comparisons, and body satisfaction. Future directions and implications are discussed.
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Thesis advisor: Zaitsoff, Shannon
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