Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Tracy L. Morris
Computers and the Internet play a substantial role in how adolescents communicate with one another. Social networking websites, in particular, are a popular medium used by adolescents in which users can develop and maintain a large number of relationships from a single profile page. Facebook represents one of the most widely used social networking websites; however, little is known about the types of factors that are associated with the way in which adolescents use it. The present study examined the association of social anxiety and parenting with adolescent Facebook use. One hundred and sixty-two adolescents between the ages of 16 and 18 completed online questionnaires that measured social anxiety, Facebook use, and parenting factors (control, monitoring, and limit setting). In addition, 192 parents completed questionnaires concerning knowledge of their child's Facebook use as well as their own monitoring and limit setting behaviors regarding Facebook. Contrary to what was hypothesized, results indicated that adolescents with moderate to high social anxiety were just as likely as those with little to no social anxiety to have an active Facebook account. In addition, both groups used Facebook to maintain existing relationships (as opposed to developing new ones) and they used it equally as much. A higher proportion of less socially anxious adolescents had more friends on their Facebook profile page, and this lends partial support for the "rich get richer" hypothesis in which more socially outgoing individuals are using Facebook to expand their existing large offline social network. With respect to parenting, fathers were significantly more controlling of their daughter's behavior compared to their sons. In addition, mothers engaged in significantly more monitoring and limit setting of their child's Facebook use compared to fathers. These results suggest that mothers may be taking a more active role in monitoring and regulating the online behavior of their children.
Creasy, Brian, "The Association of Social Anxiety and Parenting Factors with Adolescent Use of Facebook" (2012). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 246.