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Development and Validation of the Motivations for Social Media Use Scale (MSMU) Among Adolescents


Theoretical accounts of the relationship between social media use and body image among adolescents have highlighted motivations as an important factor. However, motivations for social media use has received little attention in extant research in the area of body image. The aim of this study was therefore to develop a measure of motivations for social media use among adolescents, with a focus on appearance motivations. Data from 770 adolescents (49% female), mean (SD) age = 12.76 (0.74) were used to examine the psychometric properties of the new Motivations for Social Media Use scale (MSMU). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed a four-factor structure including Connection, Popularity, Appearance, and Values and Interests subscales. All subscales revealed acceptable internal reliability, and convergent validity with internalization of appearance ideals, self-esteem, and social media use. The MSMU is a useful tool for assessing appearance motivations for social media use among adolescent girls and boys.

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The study was funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant [DP170100709].

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RFR conceived of the study, participated in its design, conducted the analysis, and drafted the manuscript; SJP participated in the design and interpretation of the data, and helped to draft the manuscript; CG participated in the design and coordination of the study and performed the measurement; HKJ participated in the design of the study coordination; AS and SAM participated in the study design and interpretation of the data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rachel F. Rodgers.

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The research involved Human Participants and was approved by the appropriate Institutional Review Board for ethical compliance.

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All participants’ parents provided consent, and participants provided assent.

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Rodgers, R.F., Mclean, S.A., Gordon, C.S. et al. Development and Validation of the Motivations for Social Media Use Scale (MSMU) Among Adolescents. Adolescent Res Rev 6, 425–435 (2021).

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  • Social media
  • Adolescents
  • Motivations
  • Body image
  • Gender