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Finding love or self-affirmation? Exploring online dating applications usage and its multifaceted consequences on users’ well-being

Langert, L. (2021) Finding love or self-affirmation? Exploring online dating applications usage and its multifaceted consequences on users’ well-being.

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Abstract:Online dating has become increasingly popular in today’s society. However, its positive and negative impact on users’ well-being has not yet been thoroughly investigated. Therefore, the current cross-sectional study aimed to examine if the frequency of usage of online dating applications predicts users’ well-being, with low frequency usage assumed to be associated with high well-being and high frequency usage with low well-being. These different effects are expected to occur due to increased self-esteem and body satisfaction following low frequency usage and increased self-objectification, body image concerns, and decreased self-esteem following high frequency usage. Participants (N = 178) were identified as users of online dating applications and anonymously completed measures via an online survey. Through a series of regression and mediation analyses, online dating frequency usage was found to be associated with users’ well-being. However, the chosen mediators body satisfaction, self-esteem, self-objectification, and body image concern were not found to significantly mediate the relationship between frequency usage and users’ well-being. Even though the association between frequency usage and well-being could not be explained by the chosen mediators, this study can be seen as groundwork for future research by testing the proposed theoretical frameworks while exploring potential other mediators. A tentative suggestion for online dating providers is to integrate warning signs against highly frequent use with suggestions to take a break or connect with existing matches. As online dating has led to a reconfiguration of the dating world, further research is needed to assess how users’ well-being might be both positive and negatively affected.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/85607
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