The Impact of Social Networking Sites Use on Physical Self-esteem: The Protective Role of Parenting Styles
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Aim: To extend the scientific knowledge on the impact of social networking sites (SNS) use on adolescent well-being. This study investigated the longitudinal relationship between SNS use and adolescent physical self-esteem. In addition, the effects of parental rule setting and parent-child quality of communication on this relationship was assessed. Methods: A two-wave longitudinal sample of 11- to 17- year-old adolescents (N = 1119) was utilized from the Digital Youth Project of Utrecht University. Annual measurements were administered in a classroom setting under supervision. Results: The use of SNS, passive or active, did not predict physical self-esteem a year later. Neither did parental rules or parent-child communication quality, or interactions between SNS use and parenting. However, the three-way interaction between active SNS use, parental rules and parent-child communication quality did predict physical self-esteem a year later. High active SNS use in combination with lower parental rules and higher parent-child quality of communication (permissive parenting style) predicted a higher physical self-esteem overall. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the permissive parenting style is most favorable for high frequency active users and both the authoritarian and authoritative for low frequency active users.