Self-defeating photos on Instagram and the role of gender among Hong Kong college students

Hiu Wah Sarah KWOK

Research output: ThesisBachelor's Theses


Objective: It is common for young people to use social networking sites (SNS), such as Instagram to communicate and share feeling with others. The time that spent on SNS of young adults is increasing in the recent years. Past studies have implied that there are relationships between the behavior of posting self-defeating photos on internet and emotion regulation, while researches that studied personal psychological well-being such as satisfaction of life and stress level of Instagram users are scarce. To full up the research gap in existing literatures, this study aimed at investigating the relations among posting self-defeating photos on Instagram, satisfaction of life, social support, self-esteem, and stress level. It also aimed at exploring gender and group differences on the behavior of posting self-defeated photos. Method: There is a total of 150 participants (Mage = 22.89 years, SD = 1.74 years) were recruited to fill in an online questionnaire about Instagram usage such as frequency of posting self-defeated photos, reasons of uploading photos, and their psychological well-being. Satisfaction with life scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985), interpersonal support evaluation list (Cohen & Hoberman,1983), self-esteem scale (Rosenberg, 1965) and perceived stress scale (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983) were used to measure the well-being. Results: Findings in this study suggested that 1) self-defeating group had differs of the four psychological factors compare with no self-defeating group. Furthermore, 2) the types of negative photo and frequency of posting self-defeating photos and significantly predicts ones’ stress level and life satisfaction separately. Moreover, 3) the frequency of posting self-defeating photos moderated the relations between the types of self-defeating photos and ones’ stress level; but 4) gender is not a prominent factor to affect users posting self-defeated photos on Instagram. Conclusion: These results suggested that the content of photos on Instagram accounts could predict the psychological well-being of young adults. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • LEUNG, Nga Man 梁雅文, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Young adults
  • Self-defeating photos
  • Satisfaction of life
  • Social support
  • Self-esteem and stress
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (BSocSc(Psy))--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2017.


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