First Advisor

Dr. Jay Campisi


Dr. Kristofor Voss


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

55 pages


The proportion of young adults on social media sites has grown in recent years. While some young adults find enjoyment in these sites, they cause stress and anxiety in others. Additionally, although many athletes experience stress prior to competition, it is unclear if social media use could modulate this stress. The aim of the present study is to determine if Facebook use influences the anticipatory stress response demonstrated in athletes before the start of a competition. In this study, undergraduate students competing in club sports spent time before each of two competitions either engaging in their normal pre-game routine or on their Facebook account, and submitted a saliva sample before and after that time period to assess for salivary cortisol concentration. Athletes demonstrated a significant increase in cortisol concentration before competition (p=0.001) and Facebook use modulated the stress-induced increase in cortisol in females, as there was a significant decrease in cortisol concentration in the female athlete that did not use Facebook (p=0.0325). This suggests that social media use prior to an athletic competition might have differential impacts on stress levels in some users. Because anticipatory stress is a widespread phenomenon and can be found outside of the context of athletics, this study provides evidence that staying away from Facebook during the anticipatory period could be a simple and effective way to reduce stress, especially in the female undergraduate athlete population.

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.

Included in

Physiology Commons