Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology


College of Sciences and Health Professions

First Advisor

Goncy, Elizabeth

Subject Headings

Psychological Tests, Psychology


This study examined the psychometric worth of a piloted measure, Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale for Social Media Users (STSS-SM). The STSS-SM is a 17-item instrument designed to measure intrusion, avoidance, and arousal symptoms associated with indirect exposure to traumatic events via social media use. Young adult social media users (N = 144) completed a survey containing the STSS-SM and measures of depression, trauma history, social media use, and demographics. A confirmatory factor analysis supported a three-factor model of secondary traumatic stress in social media users. Additionally, evidence for internal consistency and convergent and discriminant validity were found. These findings suggest the presence of secondary traumatic stress in social media users. Future research on the topic can be used to further understand the impact social media has on the psychological wellbeing of young adults and diminish the amount of distress social media users indirectly experience.

Included in

Psychology Commons