Loneliness and Facebook motives in adolescence: A longitudinal inquiry into directionality of effect

Eveline Teppers, Koen Luyckx, Theo A. Klimstra, Luc Goossens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing popularity of Facebook among adolescents has stimulated research to investigate the relationship between Facebook use and loneliness, which is particularly prevalent in adolescence. The aim of the present study was to improve our understanding of the relationship between Facebook use and loneliness. Specifically, we examined how Facebook motives and two relationship-specific forms of adolescent loneliness are associated longitudinally. Cross-lagged analysis based on data from 256 adolescents (64% girls, Mage = 15.88 years) revealed that peer-related loneliness was related over time to using Facebook for social skills compensation, reducing feelings of loneliness, and having interpersonal contact. Facebook use for making new friends reduced peer-related loneliness over time, whereas Facebook use for social skills compensation increased peer-related loneliness over time. Hence, depending on adolescents' Facebook motives, either the displacement or the stimulation hypothesis is supported. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Keywords: Adolescence, Loneliness, Facebook, Motives, Longitudinal
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-699
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • Adolescence
  • Loneliness
  • Facebook
  • Motives
  • Longitudinal


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