zEbra – Social Belonging in the Real and Digital World

The project zEbra examines the associations between the use of social media and well-being among children and adolescents. Measuring instruments are being developed that validly assess smartphone use of different social media platforms and the social interactions that take place online.

Project Description

Nowadays, children and adolescents spend a significant proportion of their everyday lives using digital media such as Instagram or WhatsApp. The zEbra project investigates to what extent and for what reasons children and young people use different Internet platforms and how this use is related to their well-being. A focus is placed on social interactions that children and adolescents experience online. In this context, the phase of late childhood and early adolescence represents a central developmental period characterized by an increase in the importance of peer contacts and social inclusion for well-being.


IDeA Center


Irmer, A. & Schmiedek, F. (2023). Associations between youth’s daily social media use and well-being are mediated by upward comparisons. Communications Psychology, 1, 12. doi: 10.1038/s44271-023-00013-0

Project Management

Dr. Andrea Irmer

Project Details

Current project
Area of Focus Education in the Digital World
Department: Education and Human Development
Unit: Cognitive Development
08/2020 – 12/2024
External funding
Contact: Dr. Andrea Irmer, Academic Staff