Skip to main content
Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2022 Abstracts

Coping, Social Media, and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Presenter: Maria Katsikathas
Authors: Maria Katsikathas
Faculty Advisor: Jonathan Amburgey
Institution: Westminster College

The COVID-19 pandemic began with the rapid spread of a deadly virus worldwide, resulting in the declaration of a global pandemic and lockdowns in numerous countries. This societal change has influenced many aspects of peoples’ lives, including placing limitations on social interaction, which in turn may have impacted risks for depression and anxiety. The purpose of this study was to identify individual differences in coping styles and correlations between social media usage, perceived loneliness, and risks for depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. An anonymous survey was created using psychometrically validated scales to gather data (N= 41 participants). Coping strategies were categorized into two stress management styles: emotion-focused coping and problem-focused coping. Individuals reported experienced loneliness, preferences for and frequency of using social media to connect with others, and completed scales measuring risks for depression and anxiety. Results revealed a significant positive correlation between social media usage and depression (r =.423, p< .05) and anxiety symptoms (r =.337, p < .05), though coping styles were uncorrelated (ps > .05) with these variables. The findings have implications for understanding mental health risk factors in relation to social isolation, coping style differences, and social media habits.