Gender Differences in Facebook Addiction as a Coping Response to Social Stressors and Poor Self-Confidence


  • Pamela Black Department of Criminal Justice, Penn State University, Hazleton Campus, USA
  • Helen M. Hendy Department of Psychology, Penn State University, Schuylkill Campus, USA



Facebook, gender differences, social stressors, self-esteem, coping behavior


The Threat Appraisal and Coping Theory suggests that when individuals perceive social stressors from important interpersonal relationships (family, friends, romance), and when they have poor self-confidence, they may display the coping behavior of seeking social support, including that provided by social media platforms such as Facebook. However, individuals who perceive intense social stressors and have poor self-confidence may use Facebook to the extent that it interferes with other areas of their lives. The present study examined this cognitive sequence that could lead to such Facebook addiction: SOCIAL STRESSORS à POOR SELF-CONFIDENCE à EXCESSIVE FACEBOOK. Because of past research showing gender differences in each of these variables, we hypothesized that women would be more likely to show the proposed cognitive sequence leading to Facebook addiction. Participants were 243 women and 209 men from a paid online Survey Monkey sample who reported demographics, three social stressors (family, friends, romance), self-confidence with Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale, and excessive Facebook use with the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale. Unlike our hypothesized results, moderated mediational analyses with 5000 bootstrapped samples found significantly higher indirect effect sizes for the three-variable sequence in men than in women, specifically when the social stressor was from family or romantic partners. One interpretation would be that when conflicts occur in intimate personal relationships (family, romance), women may have a wider network of real-life relationships in which they share their emotional concerns, whereas men are more likely to rely on online social media to vent concerns about intimate relationships.


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How to Cite

Black, P. ., & Hendy, H. M. . (2024). Gender Differences in Facebook Addiction as a Coping Response to Social Stressors and Poor Self-Confidence. International Journal of Criminology and Sociology, 13, 68–75.