Effects Of Social Networking Sites Essay

5006 words - 21 pages

The influence of social networking sites on high school students' social and academic development
Dissertation
Author: June Ahn
Abstract:
This dissertation examines the effects of social network sites on youth social and academic development. First, I provide a critical analysis of the extant research literature surrounding social network sites and youth. I merge scholarly thought in the areas of Internet studies, digital divides, social capital theory, psychological well-being, identity development, academic engagement, and educational technology to understand how researchers might examine new social technologies and youth. Second, I examine the question of digital divide, or whether ...view middle of the document...

1: Digital Divides in Year 2000
22
Table 2.2: Overview of Empirical Studies on SNS
52
Table 3.1: Descriptive Statistics of Key Variables
71
Table 3.2: Cross Tabulations of Youth SNS Usage
74
Table 3.3 : Results of Binary Logistic Model on Probability of having a SNS Profile
76
Table 3.4 : Predicted Probability of Having a SNS Profile
79
Table 3.5: Internet Ownership and Internet Access for SNS Users
80
Table 4.1: Power Calculations when Classrooms are the Randomized Unit
98
Table 4.2: Required Classroom Clusters by ICC x MDE
99
Table 4.3: Characteristics of Classrooms in SNS and Control Groups
101
Table 4.4: Descriptive Statistics of Dependent Variables and Covariates
107
Table 4.5: Percentage of Missing Data on Dependent Variables
109
Table 4.6: Results of Random Effects Models for each Dependent Variable
113

 
 v 
 Abstract
This dissertation examines the effects of social network sites on youth social and academic development. First, I provide a critical analysis of the extant research literature surrounding social network sites and youth. I merge scholarly thought in the areas of Internet studies, digital divides, social capital theory, psychological well-being, identity development, academic engagement, and educational technology to understand how researchers might examine new social technologies and youth. Second, I examine the question of digital divide, or whether particular teenage populations do not have access to online social networks. Using a nationally representative dataset from the Pew Internet & American Life study, I explore whether there are disparities in teenage access to social network sites. Third, I report a cluster-randomized trial that was designed to explore whether social network sites have a beneficial impact when used in high school classrooms. A total of 50 classrooms, and nearly 1,400 students were randomly assigned to use an experimental social network site. The results highlight the challenges and potential of this technology when applied to school contexts.

 
 1 
 Chapter 1: Introduction
As the world moves into the second decade of the 21 st century, one of the major markers of this era is the rise and use of online communities. In particular, a paradigm called Web 2.0 describes recent technologies that focus on networking mass numbers of individuals into distinct communities over the Internet (O’Reilly, 2007). Social networking sites (SNS) are online communities designed to connect individuals to wider networks of relationships, and are one major example of Web 2.0 applications. Sites such as Facebook have exploded in membership. In a short period of 2007 – 2010, Facebook estimates that its membership has grown from 50 million to over 400 million users (Facebook, n.d.). Online social networks are now an integrated part of daily life and compel questions of how these media platforms affect human development, relationships, and interaction. Teenagers are among the most avid users of technology in general and...

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