Mental health self-help accounts on social media often provide tips and strategies for individuals struggling with mental health difficulties to improve mental health outcomes. As mental health poses a public health concern that causes economic and physical problems worldwide, this self-help approach offers a potential solution to help millions of people at risk. In accordance with Technology Acceptance Models, how useful an individual finds a social media account should predict their intent to follow such accounts. Additionally, since social media accounts are highly visual content-driven, aesthetics may be a significant driver of intent to follow social media accounts. The present research examines how feelings of depression moderate the relationship between perceived usefulness of a self-help account and intent to follow the self-help account, as well as perceived aesthetics and intent to follow the self-help account. An online study was conducted with N = 410 participants in which participants were shown both self-help accounts and non-self-help accounts from Instagram. Participants were then asked to rate each account's perceived visual appeal and usefulness and their intent to follow these accounts. Lastly, participants completed a Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and a Temporal Experience of Pleasure Scale (TEPS). Results indicate that while aesthetics and perceived usefulness of self-help social media accounts are positively correlated with intent to follow such accounts, perceived usefulness is the dominating predictor of intent to follow.
McConnell, Daniel S.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Thai, Quang Hong Phuoc, "How Mental Health Impacts the Relationship Between Aesthetics, Perceived Usefulness, and the Intention to Follow Self-help Social Media Accounts" (2023). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1427.