Can Social Networking Sites Alleviate Depression? The Relation between Authentic Online Self-Presentation and Adolescent Depression: a Mediation Model of Perceived Social Support and Rumination


Ample evidence suggests that authentic self-presentation enhances personal well-being including reduced depression in the offline context, but it is unclear yet whether depression can be reduced by authentic self-presentation in the social networking sites (SNSs) environment. The present study investigated whether authentic self-presentation would predict reduced depression in the SNSs context. Further, we explored whether perceived social support and rumination would mediate the link between authentic self-presentation on SNSs and depression. A sample of 365 middle school students completed measures regarding demographics, authentic self-presentation on SNSs, depression, perceived social support, and rumination. The results indicated that: (a) authentic self-presentation on SNSs would predict reduced depression; (b) both perceived social support and rumination mediated the association between authentic self-presentation on SNSs and depression in an unparalleled fashion; and (c) perceived social support and rumination sequentially mediated the relation between authentic self-presentation on SNSs and depression. Implications of taking SNSs as an alternative way to detect and alleviate adolescent depression are discussed.

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Correspondence to Li Lei.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Wang, P., Wang, X., Zhao, M. et al. Can Social Networking Sites Alleviate Depression? The Relation between Authentic Online Self-Presentation and Adolescent Depression: a Mediation Model of Perceived Social Support and Rumination. Curr Psychol 38, 1512–1521 (2019) doi:10.1007/s12144-017-9711-8

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  • Social networking sites
  • Authentic self-presentation
  • Depression
  • Perceived social support
  • Rumination
  • Sequential mediation