Zahry, Nagwan; Freeman, Jessica
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The COVID-19 pandemic spiked generalized anxiety worldwide. The onset of the pandemic also coincided with TikTok’s rise to popularity in the social media landscape, especially among young adults and children. As a result, COVID-19-related content rose to prevalence on the platform as it became a common outlet for users to share their thoughts and opinions on the pandemic while also feeding a growing audience in need of information and diversion. Given the connection between COVID-19 and anxiety, along with temporal ties between TikTok’s rise to popularity and the COVID-19 pandemic, this study set out to determine whether young adults would experience heightened states of anxiety after exposure to COVID-19-related videos. This was evaluated by exposing an experimental group to a compilation of top COVID-19-related TikToks while a control group was exposed to a compilation of the top non-COVID-19-related TikToks. All participants were then asked to evaluate their anxiety levels on a modified version of the PANAS-X scale. The data gathered from this experiment indicated that COVID-19 content on TikTok does not evoke heightened anxiety in all young adults, but does evoke heightened anxiety in young adults that have received higher levels of vaccination against COVID-19. These findings indicate that demographic information and pre-existing beliefs, such as stances on vaccination, are a determining factor in how young adults respond to TikTok’s COVID-19 content.
B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.
COVID-19 (Disease)--Psychological aspects; Young adults--Psychology
TikTok (Electronic resource)
Fontaine, Nicholas, "The effects of TikTok's COVID-19 content on anxiety in young adults" (2023). Honors Theses.