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Scherr, Sebastian; Brunet, Antonia (2017): Differential Influences of Depression and Personality Traits on the Use of Facebook. In: Social Media + Society, Vol. 3, No. 1: pp. 1-14
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Abstract

Depressive symptoms are highly prevalent among younger populations and have been clearly associated with lowered activity in general. Focusing on Facebook use as an extremely popular leisure activity, this study examines the influence of depressive tendencies on the intensity of using Facebook by considering the moderating effects of relevant personality traits and different motivations associated with social network site (SNS) use. Based on an online survey among 510 young Facebook users, this study shows that increasing depressive tendencies are associated with an increased frequency of posting status updates—most likely for negative reasons. Moderated mediation models show that the personality traits of neuroticism and extraversion only influence the motivations behind using Facebook and not the time spent on the SNS. Findings are also discussed with regard to novel digital help offers for Facebook users with depressive tendencies.