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Adolescent Self-Regulation and Social Media Use: A Reinforcing Spiral

PhD Student: Teun Siebers MSc

Social media pose a serious challenge for adolescents. On the one hand, Instagram, Whatsapp and Snapchat offer the opportunity to satisfy various intrinsic needs and short-term gratifications, at any time, at any place. On the other hand, usage may get out of hand thereby putting long-term goals (e.g., academic achievement) at stake. The essential quality required to enjoy temptations while pursuing long-term goals is called self-regulation.

As part of team AWeSome (Adolescents, Well-being, and Social media), I will investigate how social media use affects this self-regulation system, and reversely, how impaired self-regulation causes changes in social media usage. Can we speak of a negative reinforcing spiral? Since adolescents widely vary in how they use social media and how sensitive they are to the effects, I will adopt a person-specific approach to explain potential heterogeneity caused by individual differences.

T. (Teun) Siebers

PhD Student

Prof. dr. P.M. (Patti) Valkenburg


Dr. I. (Ine) Beyens