Social media - blessing or curse for socially anxious individuals? Using Self-Determination Theory to evaluate relationships between social anxiety and social media usage
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The present study investigated the relationship between the use of social networking sites (SNS) and social anxiety from the perspective of self-determination theory. Based on the latter framework, we expected satisfaction and/or frustration of basic psychological needs to be a process mediating the relationship between SNS-use and social anxiety. Conducting a cross-sectional online survey among 125 participants, results showed (1) the positive relation between social anxiety and basic need frustration to be stronger than the negative relation between social anxiety and basic need satisfaction; (2) an expected positive relation between social anxiety and SNS-use; and (3) neither basic needs satisfaction nor basic needs frustration to mediate the latter relationship. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed, as well as possible avenues for further research.