Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Susan Panichelli Mindel, PhD

Second Advisor

Michelle R. Lent, PhD

Third Advisor

Michael Roberts, PsyD


The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing the way people live. Globally, researchers are just beginning to understand the physical and mental health implications. The purpose of this mixed-method study was to examine how the pandemic may influence social networking sites’ (SNS) use and symptoms of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study consisted of 397 individuals recruited from Participants completed an online questionnaire that included the PTSD Symptom Scale Interview (PSS-I-5), Screen for Adult Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCAARED), Social Networking Scale, and the COVID-19 Scale. Results indicated that the majority of participants endorsed a change in SNS use since the pandemic began. Through three MANOVAs, it was found that anxiety and PTSD symptoms differed based on time spent on SNS. It was also found that individuals who endorsed increases in anxiety and changes in SNS use were more likely to endorse higher levels of anxiety but not higher levels of PTSD symptoms. The results also indicated that there was not a significant relationship between exposure to COVID-19 on SNS and change in SNS use. Lastly, the results indicated that female participants were more likely to endorse a change in frequency of SNS use compared to their male counterparts. Open-ended questions were utilized to gain a better understanding of the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic, SNS use, and anxiety and PTSD symptoms. Most individuals identified different life areas, including work, school, events and activities, social life, family, mental health, and SNS use that were impacted by the pandemic.

Included in

Psychology Commons