- Social consequences of the Internet for adolescents: a decade of research
- Current Directions in Psychological Science
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Adolescents are currently the defining users of the Internet. They spend more time online than adults do, and they use the Internet for social interaction more often than adults do. This article discusses the state of the literature on the consequences of online communication technologies (e.g., instant messaging) for adolescents’ social connectedness and well-being. Whereas several studies in the 1990s suggested that Internet use is detrimental, recent studies tend to report opposite effects. We first explain why the results of more recent studies diverge from those of earlier studies. Then, we discuss a viable hypothesis to explain the recent findings: the Internetenhanced self-disclosure hypothesis. Finally, we discuss some contingent factors that may deserve special attention in future research.
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