The Facebook Paradox: Effects of Facebooking on individuals' social relationships and psychological well-being

Xiaomeng Hu, Andrew Kim, Nicholas Siwek, David Wilder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Research suggests that Facebooking can be both beneficial and detrimental for users' psychological well-being. The current study attempts to reconcile these seemingly mixed and inconsistent findings by unpacking the specific effects of Facebooking on users' online-offline social relationship satisfaction and psychological well-being. Using structural equation modeling, pathways were examined between Facebook intensity, online-offline social relationship satisfaction, perceived social support, social interaction anxiety, and psychological well-being. Personality differences on each of those paths were also assessed. Employing a sample of 342 American university students, results indicated that intensive Facebooking was positively associated with users' psychological well-being through online social relationship satisfaction, and simultaneously negatively linked to users' psychological well-being through offline social relationship satisfaction. Multiple group analyses revealed that the linkage between perceived social support and psychological well-being was stronger for introverts than for extraverts. Our findings indicate that the benefits or detriments of Facebooking are contingent upon both personality characteristics and online-offline social contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number87
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - Jan 31 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


  • Facebooking
  • Online-offline social contexts
  • Psychological well-being
  • Social relationship satisfaction

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