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The effect of social network sites on adolescents' social and academic development: Current theories and controversies


  • June Ahn


Teenagers are among the most prolific users of social network sites (SNS). Emerging studies find that youth spend a considerable portion of their daily life interacting through social media. Subsequently, questions and controversies emerge about the effects SNS have on adolescent development. This review outlines the theoretical frameworks researchers have used to understand adolescents and SNS. It brings together work from disparate fields that examine the relationship between SNS and social capital, privacy, youth safety, psychological well‐being, and educational achievement. These research strands speak to high‐profile concerns and controversies that surround youth participation in these online communities, and offer ripe areas for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • June Ahn, 2011. "The effect of social network sites on adolescents' social and academic development: Current theories and controversies," Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 62(8), pages 1435-1445, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jamist:v:62:y:2011:i:8:p:1435-1445
    DOI: 10.1002/asi.21540

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    Cited by:

    1. Justin J. Nelson & Christopher M. Pieper, 2020. "Who's an iAddict? A Sociodemographic Exploration of Device Addiction Among American Adults," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2071-2084, September.
    2. Mariana Floricica Calin & Mihaela Luminita Sandu & Ruxandra Elena Robu, 2022. "The relationship between self-esteem and the online environment in preadolescents," Technium Social Sciences Journal, Technium Science, vol. 31(1), pages 452-479, May.
    3. Mouri Dey & Ali Arshad Chowdhury, 2016. "Social networking in Bangladesh: Boon or curse for academic engagement?," Management & Marketing, Sciendo, vol. 11(1), pages 380-393, April.
    4. Montgomery, Kathryn C., 2015. "Youth and surveillance in the Facebook era: Policy interventions and social implications," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 771-786.
    5. Denise E. Agosto & June Abbas & Robin Naughton, 2012. "Relationships and social rules: Teens’ social network and other ICT selection practices," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 63(6), pages 1108-1124, June.
    6. Shathees Baskaran & Ng Chun Howe & Nomahaza Mahadi & Salahuddin Ahmad Ayob, 2017. "Youth and Social Media Comportment: A Conceptual Perspective," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 7(11), pages 1260-1277, November.
    7. Renato Matos Lopes & Daniel José Garcia dos Santos de Faria & Antonio Augusto Fidalgo-Neto & Fabio Batista Mota, 2017. "Facebook in educational research: a bibliometric analysis," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(3), pages 1591-1621, June.
    8. Silvana Salvini, 2019. "Italian students in 2000 and in 2017 between sexual risk behaviors and family communication," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2019_10, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    9. Boat, Ashley A. & Syvertsen, Amy K. & Scales, Peter C., 2021. "The role of social capital in promoting work readiness among opportunity youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    10. Shuping Yang & Xingchen Zhu, 2023. "How Does Problematic Internet Use Influence Chinese Rural Adolescent Externalizing Problem Behaviors? The Mediating Role of Mental Health and the Moderating Role of Parental Knowledge," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 20(3), pages 1-13, January.
    11. Hanna Krasnova & Thomas Widjaja & Peter Buxmann & Helena Wenninger & Izak Benbasat, 2015. "Research Note—Why Following Friends Can Hurt You: An Exploratory Investigation of the Effects of Envy on Social Networking Sites among College-Age Users," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 585-605, September.
    12. Montserrat Monserrat & Angeles Arjona Garrido & Juan Carlos Checa & Dario Salguero & Joaquin Tarifa, 2023. "Exploratory Factor Analysis, Criterion and Psychometric Properties of a Proposed Scale to Measure the Risk of Eating Disorders in Adolescents (PETCA)," Societies, MDPI, vol. 13(7), pages 1-12, June.

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