Examining the Influence of Social Media Exposure to Potentially Traumatic Events on Mental Health Symptoms Using Experiential Sampling: Lessons Learned (70448)

Session Information: Psychology & Social Psychology
Session Chair: Brigita Mieziene

Saturday, 27 May 2023 09:55
Session: Session 1
Room: Room 705
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

Prior research suggests an increase in psychological distress symptoms following exposure to potentially traumatic events in the media. However, a gap exists in examining exposure to social media posts of these events as they occur in real-time; more often than not, research relies on retrospective, cross-sectional data. This presentation will overview three separate projects that utilized a longitudinal, experiential sampling method to collect data on the influence of social media exposure to various traumatic stressors on mental health in adults, and discuss lessons learned along the way. We examined three pilot projects conducted at different time points between April 2020 – February 2023. Participants included 200 adults recruited within the United States. These projects included an initial online survey, as well as at least 10 brief, follow-up surveys assessing for social media exposure to potentially traumatic events and associated mental health symptomology in the last 24 hours. Mental health outcomes included posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and depressive symptoms. Findings from these projects consistently revealed that higher stress and fear following exposure to negative posts predicted more negative mental health outcomes. These findings support recent research on vicarious traumatization associated with mere exposure to stressful events in the media. Moreover, the use of an experiential sampling method in these pilot projects strengthens the assertion that these links exist. Although utilizing this method can take additional time, resources, and planning, discussion around addressing these challenges may promote the use of this important methodology in the social sciences.

Aleksandria Grabow, California State University San Marcos, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Aleksandria Grabow is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at California State University San Marcos in United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00