Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Susan Panichelli-Mindel, PhD

Second Advisor

Celine Thompson, PhD

Third Advisor

William Lavalle, PsyD


This quantitative survey study implemented a cross-sectional, correlational design. The present study explored the relationship between self-compassion, body image, and negative social comparisons in a sample consisting of adolescents who use social networking sites. Despite noteworthy limitations, this study elucidates the benefits associated with higher levels of self-compassion in adolescence. In line with previous studies, adolescents reported frequent use of social networking sites, primarily facilitated by smartphones. Although the constant accessibility of social networking sites via smartphones has been associated with negative outcomes, an important finding in this study was the lack of significant relationship between overall time spent on social networking sites, lower levels of self-compassion, negative social comparisons, and negative body image. Nevertheless, a significant relationship was found between negative body image and belonging to more than three social networking sites. These findings highlight the necessity of future research studies which investigate the differential impact of various social networking sites, how certain online behaviors may predispose adolescents to diminished overall psychological well-being, and the influence of preexisting psychopathology. Lastly, preventative measures, such as treatment programs that enhance self-compassion and media literacy campaigns, are suggested to buffer adolescents against the negative consequences associated with maladaptive social networking sites

Included in

Psychology Commons