Does Receiving or Providing Social Support on Facebook Influence Life Satisfaction? Stress as Mediator and Self-Esteem as Moderator
We propose a model that assumes that receiving and providing social support on Facebook reduces stress, which subsequently improves life satisfaction. The model also hypothesizes that self-esteem moderates the relationship between receiving social support via Facebook and life satisfaction and the relationship between providing social support via Facebook and life satisfaction. Applying mediation and moderation analyses to data collected from undergraduate students taking an introductory communication course at a U.S. public university (N = 382) yielded three results. First, there was no significant indirect effect of receiving social support on life satisfaction via stress. Second, providing social support increased stress, which subsequently reduced life satisfaction. Finally, self-esteem moderates the relationship between providing social support and life satisfaction: Among students with low self-esteem, providing social support significantly improved life satisfaction; however, among students with high self-esteem, providing social support did not influence life satisfaction. Implications of the findings are discussed.