Connected in the street: the relation between online social networks, self-esteem and satisfaction with life among individuals experiencing homelessness


  • Fran Calvo Programes de Reducció de Danys, Institut d'Assistència Sanitària, Agència de Salut Pública de Catalunya, Girona
  • Xavier Carbonell FPCEE Blanquerna, Universitat Ramon Llull
  • Oriol Turró Grupo de investigación sobre envejecimiento, discapacidad y salud. Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Girona, Girona.
  • Cristina Giralt Programa de Reducció de Danys, Institut d'Assistència Sanitària, Departament de Salut de la Generalitat de Catalunya.


Palabras clave:

homeless, homelessness, online social networks, self-esteem, life satisfaction.


The universalisation of Social Networking Sites has prompted a debate about whether contact with relatives and friends online has a positive effect on psychological well-being, as it has on direct relationships with primary groups. The aim of this study is to analyze the use of social network sites in a sample of 164 individuals experiencing homelessness (IEH), and to establish the relationship between this usage and their levels of self-esteem and satisfaction with life, using a multiple linear regression model for each dependent variable. The main results show a high prevalence of Internet and social network sites usage amongst IEH, even slightly higher than in the population overall.The variables predicting a higher degree of well-being are related to the use of social network sites, especially keeping in touch with friends. The chronicity associated with length of time on the street is also a key factor. A debate exists regarding the benefits of social network sites on health, and the importance which education may have in improving access to specialized services.