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dc.contributor.advisorMurachver, Tamar
dc.contributor.authorBarczak, Clare Louise
dc.identifier.citationBarczak, C. L. (2013). Adolescent internet use: an exploratory analysis of adolescent and parent behaviours and attitudes in relation to the internet (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractAdolescent internet use is a relatively recent phenomenon, and it is still unclear whether adolescent use of the internet should be considered a benefit, a source of risk, or both. Adolescents have taken to the use of the internet eagerly (Murachver, 2011); research into the outcomes and patterns of adolescent internet use is important to determine what impact the internet will have on the next generation. Negative outcomes for adolescent internet use have been identified, including exposure to sexually explicit material, sexual grooming, bullying, internet addiction, cognitive developmental consequences, and increased risk taking behaviour. However, positive outcomes have also been discovered, including improvements to well-being, social and cognitive development, identity development, and access to information and support. With these outcomes in mind, research needs to address ways to keep adolescents safe online, while ensuring they can take advantage of the potential benefits internet use might provide. The aim of the present study was to explore adolescent internet attitudes and behaviours in a sample from Dunedin, New Zealand. The present study took an exploratory approach to adolescent internet use, specifically exploring three general research questions. Firstly, does society need to be concerned about adolescents on the internet? Secondly, has social networking impacted the way adolescents interact with the internet, and the benefits they gain from it? Finally, what impact do parents have on adolescent internet behaviours and attitudes? Along with these research questions, the present study also included three specific hypotheses. The first was that there would be an association between internet use and well-being for adolescents. The second hypothesis was that social networking would be associated with better outcomes for loneliness and social anxiety. The final hypothesis was that adolescents with greater knowledge of their parents‟ internet use would have improved well-being. The participants were 41 adolescents, between the ages of 11 and 16, and one of their parents. Each participant filled out an internet use diary once a day for seven days, followed by an in-depth internet use interview and a series of well-being measures. Associations were found between adolescent internet use and social well-being, supporting the first hypothesis. The second and third hypotheses were not supported; neither social networking nor knowledge of parent internet use were related to any of the well-being measures. The results of the present study suggest that perhaps society does not need to be overly concerned about adolescent internet use, provided a few cautions are observed. Secondly, social networking seems to be driving the shift from negative well-being outcomes of internet use for adolescents to positive outcomes. Finally, parents were found to affect adolescent internet attitudes and behaviours, firstly by their own internet behaviours and attitudes, and secondly in the restrictions they place on their adolescents' internet use. Additionally, the present study presents evidence that strict parental control of internet use may be detrimental to adolescents.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectinternet use
dc.subjectNew Zealand
dc.subjectwell being
dc.subjectsocial networking
dc.titleAdolescent internet use: an exploratory analysis of adolescent and parent behaviours and attitudes in relation to the internet
dc.language.rfc3066en of Science of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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