The influence of role stress on self-disclosure on social networking sites : A conservation of resources perspective

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Original languageEnglish
Article number103147
Journal / PublicationInformation and Management
Issue number7
Online published11 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


There is a growing body of research about the influence of users’ perceived stress on their social networking site (SNS) usage behaviors. In general, stress negatively leads to a reduction in SNS usage (e.g., discontinuous use and self-disclosure). However, very little research has examined how SNS users strive to resolve stress problems from a positive perspective. To fill this gap, we conducted a research study among users of Moments, a large SNS in China. Based on the conservation of resources (COR) theory, we hypothesized that SNS users’ response to role stress, a subtype of stress, might be positive, leading to investments in social resources (e.g., motivation for relationship maintenance and self-presentation) and generating an increased level of self-disclosure on SNS. The survey results revealed the mediating effect of motivation for relationship maintenance and self-presentation on the SNS stress–disclosure relationship. We found that SNS users conserve their resources by maintaining relationships and presenting themselves positively in response to role stress, as predicted. Theoretical contributions and practical implications of the study are discussed, as are its limitations and directions for future research.

Research Area(s)

  • Conservation of resources, Motivation for relationship maintenance, Role stress, Self-disclosure, Self-presentation

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