Uses and Gratifications of Problematic Social Media Use Among University Students: a Simultaneous Examination of the Big Five of Personality Traits, Social Media Platforms, and Social Media Use Motives

KIRCABURUN K., Alhabash S., TOSUNTAŞ Ş. B., Griffiths M. D.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION, vol.18, no.3, pp.525-547, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11469-018-9940-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PAIS International, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.525-547
  • Keywords: Problematic social media use, Social media use motives, Big Five personality, Social media sites, Daily technology use, NETWORK SITES, FACEBOOK ADDICTION, 5-FACTOR MODEL, COLLEGE-STUDENTS, USAGE, PREDICTORS, TWITTER, BEHAVIORS, PATTERNS, SNAPCHAT
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Recent studies suggest that users' preferences of social media use differ according to their individual differences and use motives, and that these factors can lead to problematic social media use (PSMU) among a minority of users. The objectives of the present study were to investigate the influences of (i) demographics and Big Five personality dimensions on social media use motives; (ii) demographics and use motives on social media site preferences; and (iii) demographics, personality, popular social media sites, and social media use motives on PSMU. The sample comprised 1008 undergraduate students, aged between 17 and 32 years (M = 20.49, SD = 1.73; 60.5% women). The participants completed a questionnaire comprising the Social Media Use Questionnaire, Social Media Usage Aims Scale, and Ten-Item Personality Inventory. Multiple linear and hierarchical regression analyses showed that social media use motives of (i) meeting new people and socializing, (ii) expressing or presenting a more popular self, and (iii) passing time and entertainment were associated with problematic social media use. Moreover, participants that preferred Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook reported higher scores of problematic social media use. Finally, being female, introverted, conscientious, agreeable, and neurotic were associated with PSMU. The findings offer empirical evidence for uses and gratifications theory because the findings demonstrated that (i) different personality traits predict different motives, (ii) different motives predict preference of different platforms, and (iii) different individual differences such as personality, preference of platform, and specific use motives predict PSMU.