Background: The nature of the relationships among social media use, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTS), and wellbeing in populations exposed to continuous traumatic stress (CTS) needs investigation. Objective: The present study examined the relations of social media with PTS and wellbeing. Specifically, active social media use, receiving offers of help via social media, and offering help via social media were investigated as predictors of PTS and wellbeing. Method: Data were collected from a convenience sample of 206 adults living in southern Israeli communities exposed to CTS, two weeks after a major security escalation on the Israel-Gaza border. Participants completed online questionnaires regarding their recent traumatic stress exposure, media use, PTS (using the PTSD checklist for DSM-5; PCL-5), and wellbeing (using the mental health continuum; MHC-SF). Results: A higher level of social media use was related to PTS but not to wellbeing. Offering help through social media was related to higher wellbeing, but receiving help was not. Active social media use (levels of sharing, posting and participation on social media) were not related to either PTS or wellbeing. Conclusions: The current study highlights the relations of social media use with distress and wellbeing among individuals exposed to CTS. High levels of social media use may be an indicator of vulnerability, although encouraging people to use social media to offer help to others may be an effective strategy to promote wellbeing. To inform interventions, future research should determine directionality of the association between offering help through social media and higher level of wellbeing.
|Number of pages
|Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
|Published - 2022
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health