Association between Social Media Use and Personality Dysfunction

  • Keefe Maccarone
  • Anthony Michael Tarescavage John Carroll University


The association between social media site use and personality dysfunction has not yet been thoroughly explored. Studies that do investigate this association focus on specific mental illnesses rather than dysfunctional personality traits. Moreover, the effects of social media use on individual functioning is debated within the literature. While some literature asserts that social media site use is harmful (e.g., Oberst et al., 2017), other studies have concluded that moderated social media site use may improve functioning (e.g., Barker, 2016). The purpose of the current study was to investigate the association between social media site use and various forms of personality dysfunction. Participants were administered the MMPI-2-RF and CAT-PD-SF alongside a brief questionnaire on social media site use habits. We compared subgroups of individuals who were high and low on social media use across the MMPI-2-RF and CAT-PD-SF scales. Results indicated significant and meaningful differences between the groups, such that those with high social media use tended to score higher in externalizing characteristics. The implications of these findings and limitations of this study are discussed.

Personality Assessment