Pursuing and engaging in romantic relationships is a common goal for many emerging adults. The present study examined the relationship between use of online dating applications and self-esteem. A non-experimental investigation was conducted to examine the relationship between frequency of online dating application use and self-esteem. A moderation/mediation analysis was conducted to identify demographic factors (i.e. gender, race/ethnicity, total family income, and age) that might impact the relationship between the two variables. The sample consisted of 55 emerging adults aged 19-30. The participants were asked to answer questions about their socio-demographic information, frequency of dating application usage, self-esteem and social desirability. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was used to tap into the participants’ global self-worth and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale was used to determine the level of participant concern with social approval. The results indicated that there was a significant positive correlation between scores on the RSES and the number of days per week spent using Tinder and OkCupid. Researchers also found that the socio-demographic variables did not significantly moderate/mediate the relationship between frequency of dating app usage and self-esteem. The results of the study are intended to provide more data on how use of dating applications may impact the mental health of emerging adults.
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