The study found that the wider and more diverse Facebook members’ friends are, the more stress the site will create.
The more friend groups a person has, there is a greater potential to cause offence, the researchers, from Edinburgh University’s business school found. In particular, adding employers or parents resulted in the greatest increase in anxiety.
People presenting a version of themselves that is unacceptable to some of their online friends, such as posts displaying behaviour such as swearing, recklessness, drinking and smoking, is the largest cause of anxiety.
The added stress becomes more of a problem with older people joining the a site, as their expectations may be very different from those of younger users.
The findings echo those of an earlier study, which also said Facebook members with more friends are more stressed.
The new research found that on average people are members of seven different social circles on Facebook.
The most common circle was friends known offline with 97 per cent adding them as friends online. Some 81 per cent of Facebook members have befriended the extended family online, 80 per cent their siblings, 69 per cent friends of friends, and colleagues 65 per cent.
The report surveyed more than 300 people on Facebook, mostly students, with an average age of 21.
It also discovered that only one third use the listing privacy setting on their Facebook profile, which can be used to control the information seen by different types of friends.
Ben Marder, author of the report, said: “Facebook used to be like a great party for all your friends where you can dance, drink and flirt.
“But now with your Mum, Dad and boss there the party becomes an anxious event full of potential social landmines. If you have partners, parents, family and employers the more stressful it is as they all have different expectations.
“People will try and manage themselves and regulate how they appear on the site, so they will try and avoid saying things they think, as they are worried how it will appear.
“I have seen how people will delete photos and even regulate their offline behaviour for their online presence. If people are at parties and they see a camera they then think my boss, or my girlfriend might see this.
“So they might be smoking or drinking and when a camera comes around they will change their actions so people don’t see it on Facebook.
“People will try and present a duller version of themself to please every audience as they are so concerned what other will think.”