Text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking sites are changing the way people interact with each other. The popularity of these communication technologies among emerging adults in particular has grown exponentially, with little accompanying research to understand their influences on psychosocial development. This study explores the relationship between communication technology usage (text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking) and adolescent adjustment among 268 high school students. It was hypothesized that use of communication technology would be related to psychological adjustment, including identity development, relationship attachment and peer conflict. Participants were recruited from three public high schools in central Florida (69% female, 81.9% White). Time spent using communication technology was significantly correlated with psychological symptom severity (i.e. anxiety and depression), identity distress, peer aggression, and existential anxiety. It was also significantly but negatively correlated with relationship avoidance. Degree of usage of communication technology for interpersonal communication was significantly correlated with peer aggression, relationship anxiety, and existential anxiety. Those with a preoccupied style (high in relationship anxiety, low in relationship avoidance) spent significantly more time using communication technology than those in the dismissive (high in avoidance, low in anxiety), fearful (high in both), and secure (low in both) styles. Further analyses and their implications for adolescent development will be discussed.
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Berman, Steven L.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
UCF Daytona Beach
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Cyr, Betty-Ann, "The role of communication technology in adolescent relationships and identity development" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1258.