Social networking: Is the igeneration a 'we' generation?

December 21, 2012
Social networking: Is the igeneration a 'we' generation?
Credit: Thinkstock

(Medical Xpress)—Social networking sites may increase the bonds of friendship for nine to 13-year-old boys, according to researchers from the University of York.

n a study published online today in the , Sally Quinn and Dr Julian Oldmeadow from York's Department of Psychology, looked at the link between (SNSs) and group belonging.

Lead author PhD student Sally Quinn said: "Previous research has suggested that online communication is associated with increased closeness to friends and friendship quality. We know that children under 13 years of age are increasingly using SNSs but little research has focused on the effects of friendship for this age group. Our study examined links to group belonging for nine to 13-year-olds."

Over 440 children (49 per cent ) from five primary schools and two secondary schools in England completed questionnaires that asked questions such as 'How long have you been using a social networking site to contact your friends in your group?' and 'How often do you use a social networking site to contact your friends in your group?'

Feelings of belonging were measured with questions such as 'I feel the rest of my friendship group accept me' with responses answered on a five-point scale ranging from 'not at all true' to 'really true'. The results showed that older boys who used SNSs showed greater feelings of belonging to their friendship group than those who did not use SNSs.

Sally Quinn said: "Among nine to 13 year olds, boys' friendship groups are characterised by lower levels of self-disclosure, acceptance and closeness than those of girls. In the offline world, boys' self-disclosure increases at around age 13 to 14 years old, later than that of girls. Our research is consistent with the view that boys may value the online environment as a rehearsal space for self-disclosure skills and sites might help those who are less socially mature, with evidence suggesting that those who are socially anxious prefer the online environment for communication."

Explore further: Girls feel more anger, sadness than boys when friends offend

More information: The article 'Is the igeneration a 'we' generation? Social networking use among nine to 13-year-olds and belonging' is published online in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology on Thursday, 20 December.

Related Stories

Girls feel more anger, sadness than boys when friends offend

November 22, 2011
Girls may be sugar and spice, but "everything nice" takes a back seat when friends let them down.

Study: Kindergarten friendships matter, especially for boys

November 29, 2011
High-quality friendships in kindergarten may mean that boys will have fewer behavior problems and better social skills in first and third grades, said Nancy McElwain, a University of Illinois associate professor of human ...

Boys who mature rapidly have more depression

May 8, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Boys who reach sexual maturity more rapidly than their peers have more problems getting along with others their age and are at a higher risk for depression, according to a Cornell study published in Developmental ...

Friendship 2.0: Teens' technology use promotes sense of belonging, identity

October 22, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—With adolescents seemingly glued to cell phones and social networking websites, experts are investigating whether the near-constant digital activity changes youths' development.

Recommended for you

Exposure to violence hinders short-term memory, cognitive control

July 24, 2017
Being exposed to and actively remembering violent episodes—even those that happened up to a decade before—hinders short-term memory and cognitive control, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National ...

Using money to buy time linked to increased happiness

July 24, 2017
New research is challenging the age-old adage that money can't buy happiness.

Researchers pave new path toward preventing obesity

July 24, 2017
People who experience unpredictable childhoods due to issues such as divorce, crime or frequent moves face a higher risk of becoming obese as adults, according to a new study by a Florida State University researcher.

Higher cognitive abilities linked to greater risk of stereotyping

July 24, 2017
People with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to learn and apply social stereotypes, finds a new study. The results, stemming from a series of experiments, show that those with higher cognitive abilities also more ...

Psychologists say our 'attachment style' applies to social networks like Facebook

July 24, 2017
A new investigation appearing this week in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests a strong association between a person's attachment style—how avoidant or anxious people are in their close relationships—and ...

World-first ketamine trial shows promise for geriatric depression

July 24, 2017
Australian researchers have completed the world's first randomised control trial (RCT) assessing the efficacy and safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression in elderly patients.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.