We investigated behavioral and neural mechanisms in the relation between social media use (SMU) and selfconcept, as well as longitudinal developmental outcomes. Adolescents and young adults (N = 150, 11–21 years old at T1) rated themselves on 60 traits in the academic, physical and prosocial domain, and also indicated how they thought peers would judge them (reflected-peer-judgements). Longitudinal questionnaires (1- and 2- year follow-up) were collected to assess positive (prosocial behavior, self-concept clarity) and negative (clinical symptoms) long-term outcomes. Results indicated that heavier self-reported SMU was linked with lower difference scores between selfjudgements and reflected-peer-judgements. Lower SMU was related to more positive ratings from selfjudgements vs. reflected-peer-judgements. SMU was also associated with less positive self-concept, particularly in the academic domain (boys and girls) and physical domain (girls). Neurally, increased SMU was linked to heightened mPFC-activity during self-judgements compared to reflected-peer-judgements, and increased activity during physical compared to academic and prosocial self-judgements. Longitudinal analyses indicated no evidence for long-term effects of social media use, self/reflected-peer-difference scores and mPFC-activity on clinical symptoms, prosocial behavior or self-concept clarity. This study highlights the complex relationship between social media use and wellbeing and future research is needed to confirm the lack of long-term effects.

Social media, Self-concept, Medial prefrontal cortex, Adolescence, Self-esteem, Development
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100921, hdl.handle.net/1765/134095
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Department of Anesthesiology

Peters, S.T, van der Cruijsen, R., van der Aar, L., Spaans, J., Becht, A.I, & Crone, E.A. (2021). Social media use and the not-so-imaginary audience: behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying the influence on self-concept. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. doi:10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100921