Effects of Motives for Internet Use, Aloneness, and Age Identity Gratifications on Online Social Behaviors and Social Support among Adolescents

Effects of Motives for Internet Use, Aloneness, and Age Identity Gratifications on Online Social Behaviors and Social Support among Adolescents

Louis Leung (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-926-7.ch008
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Abstract

The advent of new media technologies, such as e-mail, blogs, MSN, online games, mobile phones, iPods, MP3, PS3, NDS, video on demand (VOD), and DVDs, to name a few, has dramatically changed both the nature and number of social compensation and mood management devices available to most youngsters. Although previous research has examined how the Internet has become an important resource for information and entertainment, little research has focused on the ways in which individuals use the Internet for social communication and support. In particular, how personality traits, such as perception of aloneness and age identity gratifications, together with motives for Internet use impact Internet habits and perceived social support are much-neglected areas of research. This chapter investigates how differences in these constructs among adolescents and children influence their online social behavior (such as use of instant messaging, online games, and participating in forums).
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Introduction

The advent of new media technologies, such as e-mail, blogs, MSN, online games, mobile phones, iPods, MP3, PS3, NDS, Wii, video on demand (VOD), and DVDs, to name a few, has dramatically changed both the nature and number of social compensation and mood management devices available to most youngsters. Although previous research has examined how the Internet has become an important resource for information and entertainment, little research has focused on the ways in which individuals use the Internet for social communication and support. Online social network sites such as Facebook, Friendster, and MySpace allow individuals to present themselves, and establish and maintain relationships with others (Raacke & Bonds-Raacke, 2008). How personality traits, such as perception of aloneness and age identity gratifications, together with motives for Internet use impact Internet habits and social support are, however, much-neglected areas of research. In this chapter we will examine how the Internet plays a role in influencing mediated social support and how these psychological variables motivate online social communication and behavior.

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