- The influence of descriptive and injunctive peer norms on adolescents' risky sexual online behavior
- Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
- Volume | Issue number
- 14 | 12
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of descriptive and injunctive peer norms on the engagement in risky sexual online behavior. A four-wave longitudinal study among a representative sample of 1,016 Dutch adolescents (12-17 years old) was conducted. Two autoregressive cross-lagged structural equation models were analyzed to investigate the relationship between perceptions of peer norms and risky sexual online behavior. The findings of this study indicate that both, descriptive and injunctive peer norms, predicted adolescents' engagement in risky sexual online behavior. The effect of descriptive peer norms was stronger and more consistent over the four waves. As expected, perceptions of peer norms were predictors, but not consequences, of risky sexual online behavior. The findings suggest that problematic behaviors on the Internet are influenced by perceptions of what peers do, or approve of, in ways similar to offline risk behaviors.
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