Social media addiction: Its impact, mediation, and intervention


This research examined the relations of social media addiction to college students' mental health and academic performance, investigated the role of self-esteem as a mediator for the relations, and further tested the effectiveness of an intervention in reducing social media addiction and its potential adverse outcomes. In Study 1, we used a survey method with a sample of college students (N = 232) and found that social media addiction was negatively associated with the students' mental health and academic performance and that the relation between social media addiction and mental health was mediated by self-esteem. In Study 2, we developed and tested a two-stage self-help intervention program. We recruited a sample of college students (N = 38) who met criteria for social media addiction to receive the intervention. Results showed that the intervention was effective in reducing the students’ social media addiction and improving their mental health and academic efficiency. The current studies yielded original findings that contribute to the empirical database on social media addiction and that have important theoretical and practical implications.

Bibliographic citation

Hou, Y., Xiong, D., Jiang, T., Song, L., & Wang, Q. (2019). Social media addiction: Its impact, mediation, and intervention. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 13(1), Article 4. doi:


Social media addiction; mental health; academic performance; self-esteem; intervention

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