A Reasoned Action Approach to Limiting Excessive Social Media Usage Among Adults

Daniel E. Hartman, Brian L. Quick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature on social media suggests a link between use and negative mental health consequences. Numerous theoretical perspectives have attempted to explain the underlying mechanisms for this relationship but are lacking a clear explanation for why some individuals may be negatively impacted by their social media use. Despite a plethora of research on this relationship, minimal research has examined the act of limiting social media use as a promotional behavior. This study takes a fresh approach by investigating attitudinal components that predict intentions to limit social media use via the reasoned action approach. US adults (N = 298) participated in an online survey on excessive social media use. Attitudes, perceived norms, and perceived behavioral control were significant predictors of intentions to limit social media use. In addition, perceived behavioral control was hypothesized to moderate both the attitude to intention and norm to intention relationships in that these associations would be stronger for those with higher control beliefs. Results showed that strong control beliefs strengthened the attitudes to intentions relationship but weakened the norm to intention relationship. Future practical and research directions are discussed to promote limiting social media use and further investigate the negative mental health outcomes of excessive social media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2993-3002
Number of pages10
JournalHealth communication
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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