- Adolescents’ identity experiments on the internet: consequences for social competence and self-concept unity
- Communication Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 35 | 2
- 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 effects of adolescents' online identity experiments on their social competence and self-concept unity. An online survey was conducted among 1,158 Dutch adolescents between 10 and 17 years of age. Using structural equation modeling, the authors investigated the validity of four opposing effects hypotheses in an integrative antecedents-and-effects model. Adolescents who more often experimented with their identity on the Internet more often communicated online with people of different ages and cultural backgrounds. This communication, in turn, had a positive effect on adolescents' social competence but did not affect their self-concept unity. In particular, lonely adolescents used the Internet to experiment with their identity. The social competence of lonely adolescents benefited significantly from these online identity experiments.
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