First Advisor

Wright, Stephen L.

Second Advisor

Johnson, Brian D., 1957-

Document Type


Date Created



Online social media has become a popular way to communicate and develop interpersonal relationships. Facebook use in particular has become an important topic for researchers and clinicians, as young adults are increasingly integrating this use into their daily lives and social behavior. As empirical work on the personality traits and interpersonal competency associated with use and the potential consequences of use on social behavior is still emerging, the present study sought to investigate the interrelationships among constructs relevant to the developmental tasks associated with emerging adulthood, including adult attachment style, Five Factor Model personality traits, interpersonal competency, and Facebook use. Using data collected from 617 emerging adults in college, we utilized structural equation modeling to develop a model explaining the interrelationships among the constructs under study in order to further the research in this area. Results yielded a well-fitting model that explained the interrelationships among these latent constructs in the data, which suggested that insecure attachment had direct and positive effects on neuroticism, direct and negative effects on extraversion, direct and negative effects on interpersonal competency, and indirect effects on Facebook use. In addition, only extraversion and not neuroticism was related to interpersonal competency and Facebook use, when first accounting for attachment style. Interestingly, interpersonal competency did not seem to play a prominent mediating role between these personality traits and Facebook use. These results highlight the role of attachment style, and its importance in both developing personality traits, interpersonal skills, and online social behavior, which aligns well with the attachment theory framework. Lastly, we discussed future directions for research, as well as theoretical and practice implications for psychologists.


Personality, Facebook (Electronic resource), Online social networks, Social skills -- Psychological aspects


181 pages

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Copyright belongs to the author.