Original Articles

Social Media Addiction, Self-Compassion, and Psychological Well-Being: A Structural Equation Model


Department of Psychology, University of Crete Faculty of Social Sciences, Crete, Greece

Alpha Psychiatry 2022; 23: 298-304
DOI: 10.5152/alphapsychiatry.2022.22957
Read: 1880 Downloads: 647 Published: 01 November 2022

Objective: Research indicates that social media addiction is associated with several psychological consequences, for example, depression. Distressed individuals tend to devote more time to social media, which leads to impairment of daily life. Interestingly, individuals feeling more compassionate toward them tend to devote less time to social media and feel less psychologically distressed. This research aimed to examine the association between social media addiction and self-compassion and whether it can be further explained through the association of psychological distress.

Methods: A sample of 255 Greek adults received a personal invitation sent to various social media platforms. Invitations included a link, which redirected participants to the information sheet and the study questionnaires, namely the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale, the Self-Compassion Scale, and the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale. Participation was voluntary and no benefit/reward was granted.

Results: As predicted, social media addiction was found to negatively correlate with self-compassion and positively with distress. We used structural equation modeling to examine associations between variables, with psychological distress acting as a mediator. Examination of estimated parameters in the model revealed statistically significant correlations, except for the positive dimensions of the Self-Compassion Scale, which were found to be insignificantly associated.

Conclusion: Individuals with higher levels of self-compassion tend to report less social media additive behaviors and distress. The extensive use of social media is related to negative feelings and emotions. Self-compassion is a potential protective factor, while distress is a potential risk factor for social media addiction. Intervention programs dealing with social media addiction should consider the role of self-compassion.

Cite this article as: Mitropoulou EM, Karagianni M, Thomadakis C. Social media addiction, self-compassion, and psychological well-being: A structural equation model. Alpha Psychiatry. 2022;23(6):298-304.

EISSN 2757-8038