About this project
Historically, adolescents have been quick to use new technologies (e.g., the telephone, pagers, and mobile phones) to communicate with each other. In the past, these technologies aided communication between youths and their friends from school and neighborhood. With the advent of Internet chatting, however, youths have the chance to chat and even disclose private thoughts and feelings with friends they do not know in everyday life. To date, little is known about the extent to which this happens, and what implications it has. The specific aims of this project are to determine whether and to what extent online friendships displace or facilitate adolescents? offline friendships; whether online friendships uniquely influence emotional adjustment, such as depression and loneliness; whether personality differences explain why online friendships may influence emotional adjustment differently for specific groups of adolescents; what connections exist between online and offline problem behaviors and their links with friendships, and whether parents can influence adolescents? online friendships by controlling their Internet use.