The Relationship Between Facebook, Social Support, and Mental Health and Well-Being in Metropolitan and Regional Australian Communities.

Gilmour, J. (University of Southern Queensland), Jeffries, C. (University of Southern Queensland), Machin, T., (University of Southern Queensland), Brownlow, C. (University of Southern Queensland)

A predictor in positive mental and physical health outcomes is social support. Social support drawn from interactions on social media sites, such as Facebook, have been shown to predict higher levels of well-being, and lower levels of perceived stress, and mental health concerns. However, the majority of the studies that examine social support via Facebook draw from metropolitan samples, with few studies examining Facebook and social support in regional users. In order to examine the relationship between Facebook, social support, and mental health and well-being outcomes across metropolitan and regional Facebook users, a survey of 295 Australian Facebook users (147 metropolitan, 146 regional) was conducted. Preliminary results showed that Facebook-based social support was related to higher levels of well-being in both samples. However, Facebook-based social support was only related to lower levels of mental health concerns in the metropolitan sample. Additionally, Facebook use, and number of Facebook Friends was related to higher levels of stress, and cyberbullying in the regional sample only. This suggests that regional Facebook users are not reporting the same levels of interpersonal support on social media as their metropolitan counterparts.

Twitter: @NhojGilmour

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