SOS on SNS: Adolescent distress on social network sites

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37 Scopus citations


Psychological distress and experiences of peer victimization and social rejection are common among adolescents. Nevertheless, the growing popularity of online Social Network Sites (SNS) among adolescents offers an unprecedented opportunity for early detection of adolescents’ distress. This study examined the scope of, and the individual differences that may be associated with, distress sharing on SNS. A total of 413 adolescents (mean age = 15.42, 53.8% girls) completed three questionnaires assessing (a) social media usage, (b) distress sharing on SNS, and (c) feelings of social rejection. More than 15% of the sample shared personal distress and searched for help on SNS. Distress sharing did not differ between genders. Social rejection predicted distress sharing on SNS. Notably, social rejection and distress sharing were only associated among individuals with high social media use scores. Implications are discussed for early identification of adolescents’ distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Distress sharing
  • SOS-scale
  • Social media
  • Social rejection


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