Facebook and Social Contagion of Mental Health Disorders Among College Students

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Authors: Sharon J. Davis, Arkansas State University, United States
Asher M. Pimpleton-Gray, Arkansas State University, United States
Email: sharondavis@astate.edu
Published: December 14, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.3.2.03

Citation: Sintos, M. L. (2017). Facebook and Social Contagion of Mental Health Disorders Among College Students. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 3(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.3.2.03


Abstract

Non-suicidal self-injury is growing in popularity among young people. Studies suggest that the phenomenon of social contagion may be to blame. This study explored the influence of the popular social media site, Facebook, on mental health, non-suicidal self-injury, and suicidal behavior in college students. A total of 244 undergraduate students participated in this study. Results found that Facebook can increase personal anxiety and depression, but it is more likely to increase happiness and good mood. However, for some individuals Facebook can lead to more self-injurious behavior, such as cutting.

Keywords

social media, Facebook, mental health, non-suicidal self-injury, suicidal behavior