Objective: Our goal was to examine undergraduates’ social support

sources, including social media (SM) sources and their preferences for SM features (i.e., anonymity and similar-peer communities).

Participants: Participants were 662 undergraduates (438 women) from two midwestern colleges who completed an online survey in Spring 2017.

Methods: Students completed a demographic survey and depression/anxiety screener. They also indicated whether they turned to different people and SM resources when in distress.

Results: Those with high depression were less likely to identify parents and mental health professionals as sources of support. Those with high depression/anxiety were more likely to identify SM as a social support medium and indicate preferences for similar-peer communities; however, they also identified SM as stress-inducing.

Conclusions: SM may be a non-redundant source of social support for undergraduates. However, SM may be stress inducing. SM featuring anonymity and similar-peer communities might be appealing to students, especially those at-risk.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Poster presentation. American Medical Women's Association 103rd Annual Meeting. March 22-25, 2018. Philadelphia, PA.