Online self-presentation and identity development: The moderating effect of neuroticism

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Using social media, which provides ways to socialize and present oneself, has become normal for young people. Although previous research shows that self-presentation via social media is associated with a sense of identity, little attention has been given to the association with identity-development processes. Therefore, the present study examined these associations while controlling for offline self-presentation and tested the potential moderating effect of neuroticism. A sample of 647 Japanese young adults (401 women; Mean age = 22.70; SD age = 3.25) were recruited to complete an online questionnaire, including measures of identity-development processes, online and offline self-presentation, and neuroticism. A correlation analysis revealed that identity-development processes were associated with online surface-level self-presentation (SSP) but not online inner-level self-presentation (ISP). Further, a moderated regression analysis indicated that the negative associations between online ISP and identity processes were only found among those high in neuroticism. The results of this study suggest that neuroticism may produce variations in young people's identity development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-833
Number of pages18
JournalPsyCh Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • identity development
  • neuroticism
  • self-presentation
  • social media
  • young adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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