Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Kristen Newberry, PsyD

Second Advisor

K. R. Juzwin, PsyD


The world of technology has expanded quickly and vastly since its inception. The creation of social media sites and applications has changed the ways in which youth interact, connect, and share with one another. As the number of social media sites and applications increases, so does their use by adolescents. During adolescence, youth are undergoing the process of identity development and self-esteem is an important part of this development. During this developmental period, adolescents’ self-esteem is likely to be affected by the feedback they receive online through social media sites. There is limited research available that specifically evaluated the impact of social media on adolescents’ developing self-esteem. Of the articles available that investigated the relationship between these two constructs, some were published 8 years ago or more (i.e., 2012 or earlier) and the social media platforms adolescents use have changed. The focus of this theoretical clinical research project was to review the research and data available on the impact of social media use on the self-esteem of youth, present the clinical implications of the current research, and provide suggestions for the need and direction for future research. The chosen studies included participants between the ages of 10 and 17 years old who used various social media platforms. The existing research demonstrated both positive and negative correlations between social media use and self-esteem. Increases and decreases in adolescents’ levels of self-esteem are influenced by different factors, such as feedback, their investment in social media, and reason for use. The varying results provide support for the need for additional research on the relationship between these two constructs as social media continues to change.