University of Tasmania

File(s) not publicly available

#Motherhoodunfiltered : representations of motherhood on Instagram and implications for wellbeing in first-time mothers

posted on 2023-05-27, 19:34 authored by Beck, GD
The emergence of Instamums, Instagram social media figures who focus on their role as a mother, has seen two dominant representations of motherhood emerge: the curated and unrelatable version, and the raw and deliberately relatable version. This study explored whether relatable and unrelatable representations of motherhood on Instagram, with brief vs deep captions, impact parental self-efficacy (efficacy subscale, Parenting Sense of Competence Scale; Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersman, 1978, revised by Johnston & Mash, 1989), perceived social support (adapted from Facebook Measure of Social Support; McCloskey et al., 2015), and negative affect (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; Watson et al., 1988), in first-time mothers (N = 179), and the interaction with social comparison orientation (Iowa-Netherlands Social Comparison Orientation Measure; Gibbons & Buunk, 1999). A significant 3-way interaction revealed participants high in social comparison orientation scored lower in parental self-efficacy when exposed to relatable images with deep captions, compared to participants with low social comparison orientation, p<.001. Negative affect scored lower post-exposure than pre-exposure across all conditions, p<.001. Findings suggest engagement with Instamums may not be as harmful for first-time mothers as previous research suggests. Replication and further research into the complexities of individual differences with Instagram motherhood content is required.



School of Psychological Sciences

Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Copyright 2022 the author.

Repository Status

  • Open

Usage metrics

    Thesis collection


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager