Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Stephen Poteau, PhD

Second Advisor

Susan Panichelli Mindel, PhD

Third Advisor

Michael Roberts, PsyD


This study examined the relationship between social media use, sense of connectedness, and depression among graduate students. Graduate students are at risk of depression and often disconnect from their social supports due to their program's demands. Literature on the impact of social media on depression is discrepant. The relationship between a sense of connection, the use of social media, and depression in a graduate student population is a novel area of research. Graduate students at The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and other universities, including healthcare and non-healthcare-related disciplines, were included. Participants were recruited via social media or email. The current study included the following measures: The Social Connectedness Scale-Revised (SCS-R), The Generalized Problematic Internet Use Scale 2 (GPIUS2), and The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). A Pearson correlation demonstrated that higher levels of depression were correlated with higher levels of social connectedness. Higher levels of problematic internet use indicated significantly higher levels of depression than lower levels of problematic internet use. Social connectedness was significantly higher among higher problematic internet use in comparison to low problematic internet use. A multiple regression analysis demonstrated that Preference for Online Social Interaction (POSI) and compulsive internet use were predictors of problematic internet use.