Aggression and Prosocial Behavior in Adolescents internet and Face-to-Face Interactions

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Abstract of the thesis

In the last decade, computer-mediated communication (CMC) has increased dramatically as a format for social interaction, particularly among adolescents. Despite this increase, little research has focused on the types of behaviors occurring in CMC. The purpose of this study was to address questions regarding adolescents’ CMC use (specifically ratings of use of instant messaging and blogging, and aggressive and prosocial behaviors engaged in while online), the relation between CMC behaviors and face-to-face behaviors, and the relation between ratings of use and both CMC and face-to-face behaviors. Participants were 484 7th, 9th, and 11th grade students who completed a survey about their CMC use and online and face-to-face aggressive and prosocial behaviors as agents and recipients of those behaviors. Most adolescents reported engaging in some form of CMC at least a few times a week. Females reported a higher rate of CMC use than males. Adolescents reported engaging in more online prosocial behavior than online aggression and endorsed being the agents of online behaviors more so than being the recipients. Males and females were similar in their reports of online aggression but females were higher in online prosocial behaviors.

Aggression and Prosocial Behavior in Adolescents internet and Face-to-Face Interactions
Aggression and Prosocial Behavior in Adolescents internet and Face-to-Face Interactions
Engaging in online aggression and prosocial behaviors was related to engaging in corresponding face-to-face behaviors. Adolescents reported being agents of prosocial behavior and recipients of aggression and prosocial behavior more when face-toface than when online. Seventh-grade males reported the highest rates of being recipients of aggression, across contexts. Eleventh-graders reported being the recipients of prosocial behavior less than 7th and 9th graders. Adolescents’ CMC use was related to all online behaviors and to face-to-face prosocial behaviors. CMC use predicted adolescents’ online behaviors above and beyond their face-to-face behaviors. Limitations of this survey study included limited generalizability of results because of the age and ethnic distributions of the sample and the lack of longitudinal data, which precludes conclusions about temporal directions of effects. Finally, important implications, such as parental supervision of online behaviors, and ideas for future studies were discussed.


Researcher of the Thesis 

  • Kelly M. Lister

Avail Thesis [sociallocker id=64051]


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