Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors


Psychological Sciences

First Advisor

Amy Hughes-Lansing


Chronic pain, social media, depression, anxiety


Chronic pain is estimated to effect 8% of young adults and is associated with decreased quality of life and limitation of social activities (Zelaya et al., 2020), as well as higher rates of internalizing symptoms (Noel et al., 2016). Given that both chronic pain and internalizing symptoms are associated with social withdrawal, it is important to understand how young adults with these comorbid concerns engage in other activities. Due to the increasing rates of social media usage, the current study examined the association between 3 functions of social media (diversion, personal integrative needs, and social integrative needs) and internalizing symptoms in a sample of young adults with chronic pain (n=225, 70.2% White, 78.7% female). The current study also examined hours spent on social media, likes per post, and number of posts as moderators of the associations between social media functions and internalizing symptoms. Results indicated that diversion and social integrative needs were associated with anxiety symptoms, while personal integrative needs was associated with anxiety and depression symptoms. Hours spent on social media moderated the association between diversion social media use and anxiety, and social integrative needs use and anxiety.