Relationships between Facebook Intensity, Friendship Contingent Self-Esteem, and Personality in U.S. College Students


U.S. college students (N = 200) completed measures of Facebook use, friendship contingent self-esteem, personality, and narcissism. Those who strongly connected their self-esteem with their quality of friendship relationships were predicted to be more active Facebook users. As predicted, a significant positive relationship between Facebook intensity and friendship contingent self-esteem was found. No significant relationships between Facebook use and personality or narcissism were discovered. Implications for how and why college students use social networking media are discussed, including connections to previous research which discuss the relationship between high friendship contingent self-esteem and risk for depressive symptoms.

facebook; social networking; self-esteem; personality; college student
Author biographies

Terry F. Pettijohn II

Author photo Terry F. Pettijohn II, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, USA, where he teaches courses in research methods and social psychology. His research interests include interpersonal attraction, relationships, and how social preferences are influenced by social and economic factors.

Kimberly E. LaPiene

Author photo Kimberly E. LaPiene graduated with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, USA. Her research interests are diverse but widely influenced by topics in both social psychology and human factors psychology. Her career goals are to pursue graduate studies in either social psychology or human factors psychology and become a professor.

Terry F. Pettijohn

Author photo Terry F. Pettijohn, PhD, is a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University in Marion, Ohio, USA, where he teaches courses in general and experimental psychology. His research interests include motivation, emotion, and social behavior.

Amanda L. Horting

Author photo Amanda L. Horting graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, USA. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA.

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