This study examined online communication on social networking web pages in a longitudinal sample of 92 youths (39 male, 53 female). Participants' social and behavioral adjustment was assessed when they were ages 13-14 years and again at ages 20-22 years. At ages 20-22 years, participants' social networking website use and indicators of friendship quality on their web pages were coded by observers. Results suggested that youths who had been better adjusted at ages 13-14 years were more likely to be using social networking web pages at ages 20-22 years, after statistically controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, and parental income. Overall, youths' patterns of peer relationships, friendship quality, and behavioral adjustment at ages 13-14 years and at ages 20-22 years predicted similar qualities of interaction and problem behavior on their social networking websites at ages 20-22 years. Findings are consistent with developmental theory asserting that youths display cross-situational continuity in their social behaviors and suggest that the conceptualization of continuity may be extended into the online domain.
- peer relationships
- social networking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies