To help offer the best experience possible, Guilford uses cookies on its site. By browsing here, you acknowledge our terms of use. For more information, see our Cookie Policy.
You can also read Guilford's Privacy Policy.

×
Skip to main content

        All Access Pass: All Guilford journals, $49.95 for 30 days | Click on any article to purchase

LONELINESS AMONG YOUNG ADULTS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC: THE MEDIATIONAL ROLES OF SOCIAL MEDIA USE AND SOCIAL SUPPORT SEEKING

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2020.39.8.708

Introduction: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and shelter-at-home have become necessary for public health and safety in the United States. This period of social isolation may be a risk factor for mental health problems, particularly among young adults for whom rates of loneliness are already high. Young adults also engage in more social media use than other age groups, a form of socialization associated with adverse effects on mental health, including loneliness and depression.

Methods: The current study examined potential mediating roles of social media use and social support seeking on the relationship between age and loneliness symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants included 1,674 adults who completed an online survey regarding depressive symptoms, loneliness, coping strategies, and changes to their daily lives as a result of the pandemic.

Results: Results indicated that young adults were lonelier than older adults during the pandemic, showed a greater increase in social media use, and lower social support seeking. Higher increases in social media use and lower social support seeking mediated the relationship between age group and loneliness.

Discussion: Findings are discussed in context of prior research and potential effects of stress and isolation during the pandemic. Clinical implications and suggestions for intervention are elaborated.

REFERENCES