Li Zhang

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Kayany

Second Advisor

Dr. Autumn Edwards

Third Advisor

Dr. Jocelyn Steinke


Facebook, gender identity, self-esteem, social media use, young female students

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


As a popular social media platform, Facebook has already become a vital part of college students’ social lives. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships among Facebook use, gender identity and the level of self-esteem among young female college students (from age 18 to 23). Previous studies have argued that Facebook has the ability to enhance or reshape gender identity by providing control over online self-presentation. In addition, by using Facebook intensively and frequently, users gain popularity (a larger network of Facebook friends), which also increases users’ self-esteem and the feeling of being connected with others. In the current study, an online survey was used to examine the relationship between Facebook use, female students’ gender identity and the level of self-esteem. The study found a positive relationship between the level of self-esteem and gender identity. However, the result of this study could not explain whether there was a clear relationship between Facebook use and female students’ attitudes towards gender identity. The current study encourages future study to examine different concept with Facebook use, such as “the sense of belonging” and “the gender gap”, in order to have an integrated idea of how young females adopt social media.

Included in

Social Media Commons