Double-edged effects of role stress on self-disclosure on social networking sites

Yang Pan1, Zhichao Cheng1
1School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Pan, Y., & Cheng, Z. (2020). Double-edged effects of role stress on self-disclosure on social networking sites. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 48(8), e9217.

Volume 48 Issue 8 | e9217 | Published: August 2020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.9217

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As the number of users’ social connections on social networking sites increases, different types of role stress may occur for these users. We conducted an empirical analysis of 312 WeChat Moments users, to obtain insight into how perceived role stress (role conflict, role overload, and role ambiguity) and different stress responses (impression management vs. social fatigue) influence online self-disclosure behaviors. The results suggest that role overload and role ambiguity both had a suppressive effect on self-disclosure: Role ambiguity reduced social networking site users’ need to maintain a personal network impression, whereas role overload increased their psychological fatigue in relation to interpersonal interactions. Further, although role conflict increased social fatigue, it also promoted the use of more impression management measures to promote self-disclosure. Theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed.

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