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ERIC Number: EJ1049705
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1053-1890
The Role of Communication Technology in Adolescent Relationships and Identity Development
Cyr, Betty-Ann; Berman, Steven L.; Smith, Megan L.
Child & Youth Care Forum, v44 n1 p79-92 Feb 2015
Background: The popularity of communication technologies such as text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking sites has grown exponentially, especially among adolescents. At the scale of growth along with the pressures and normative use of communication technology, psychological effects of these technologies need to be further assessed. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if technology usage and preference for using communication technology in social situations are related to adolescent development in regard to peer relationships, identity development, and psychological adjustment. Methods: Participants ("N" = 268; 69 % female; 81.9 % White) from three public high schools were surveyed in their classroom. Results: Time spent using communication technology was associated with less relationship avoidance, but greater internalizing symptom severity, identity distress, existential anxiety, and peer aggression. Preference for using technology for interpersonal communication was associated with greater peer aggression, relationship anxiety, and existential anxiety. Those with a preoccupied attachment style (high in relationship anxiety, but low in relationship avoidance) reported the most time using communication technology. Communication technology usage was not related to identity exploration, commitment, or status, but it did predict psychological symptom severity over and above the identity and relationship variables. Conclusions: Communication technology usage was found to be related to identity and relationship problems, and was linked to greater maladjustment, even after controlling for identity and relationship difficulties.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A