This study investigated the relationships between social isolation, fear of missing out, self-esteem, and social media usage, and whether these relationships are different in deaf and hearing college students. Data were collected from 191 individuals (46 Deaf/Hard of Hearing, 145 hearing) via an online survey. Variables included number of social media accounts, time spent (in hours) on social media, number of times per day social media is accessed, FOMO, social media use, hearing status/identity, self-esteem, social isolation, and social media disorder. Correlational tests were conducted separately for hearing and for Deaf/HH participants. The groups had an unequal distribution of gender, which was evaluated via chi-square tests and determined to be statistically significant. A two-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted to investigate whether the gender or hearing identity of participants influenced the results. Gender was not significant in the distribution, but hearing identity was significant. With the exception of the number of social media accounts, the hearing identity groups did not differ on social media use. However, the DHH participants scored higher on the social media disorder scale and lower in self-esteem. Neither scale was normed for the DHH community, so these findings should be interpreted with caution. There was not a relationship between social media use and FOMO in Deaf/HH participants but a relationship between FOMO and number of accounts and hours per day was seen in the hearing group. Overall, the quantity of social media use was not correlated with social isolation, self-esteem, or FOMO, with two exceptions (number of accounts and hours per day in hearing). There was a relationship between social media use and social media disorder, which was expected. These results indicated that how individuals interact with social media might be more meaningful to examine than how frequently they use it.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Social isolation--Research; Deaf college students--Attitudes; College students--Attitudes; Deaf college students--Psychology; College students--Psychology; Social media--Research; Fear of missing out

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Experimental Psychology (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Psychology (CLA)


Suzanne Bamonto

Advisor/Committee Member

Ammina Kothari

Advisor/Committee Member

Vincent Samar


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes