Effects of Technology on Young Adults


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Effects of Technology on Young Adults

  1. 1. Fiona GriswoldEPSY 430: Early Adolescent Development June 21, 2009
  2. 2.  News stories about social networking sites (e.g.,Facebook, MySpace) usually of the “horror” variety…consequences of cyberbullying and now, increase in“sexting” Problems should not be minimized, but they areextensions of problems in the “offline” world.Parents, schools and law enforcement not keeping upwith technology. Teen use of Internet (in general) and social mediasites (specifically) can have valuable developmentalbenefits (Ito 2008, Lenhart 2007, 2008; Tynes 2007)
  3. 3.  Study Design:  Phone survey with 935 teens (ages 12-17) and a parent (conducted October & November 2006)  Nationally representative sample Key Findings:  93% teens use Internet (61% use daily)  64% of online teens are “content creators”; two-thirds create more than one type of content  Girls more likely to create content than boys; nearly half of teen content created by “younger teens”  Teens active online are also active offline—no evidence that offline activities ignored in favor of more online time  Telephone (landline or cell) still most common form of contact between friends
  4. 4.  Study Design:  Three-year, $50-mil study funded by MacArthur Foundation.  Mixed-methods approach: 23 case studies conducted by 28 researchers using surveys, semi-structured interviews, diary studies and focus-group interviews. Key Findings:  Teens use online media to “extend friendships and interests”  “Friendship-driven” networks  “Interest-driven” networks  Teens engage in peer-based, self-directed learning online  Some teens “geek out”
  5. 5.  Many parents & educators concerned about teensafety on Internet—some calls to keep teens offline. Statistics on Internet dangers exaggerated by media Argues that Internet use offers educational benefitsincluding:  Critical thinking and argumentation (chat & boards)  Cross-cultural & interracial interaction  Identity exploration
  6. 6.  Adults should facilitate teen’s use of Internet anddigital media and play an active role in guiding teens. Alternatives to restricting Internet access:  Have frank discussions with teens about benefits and risks of Internet use  Help teens protect their privacy  Work with teens to develop an “exit strategy” to use if they feel threatened
  7. 7.  Video games (and their violent content) alsofrequently targeted by media for their negativeeffects on teens Oft-cited meta-analysis video game violence byAnderson and Bushman (2001) and follow-up study(2004). Should be concerned about which teens are playingwhat games and for how long, but to brand all gamingas bad is also a disservice.
  8. 8.  Short-term improvement of mood and attention(Russell & Newton 2008) Improving design of educational media (Maunders& Borko 2008)
  9. 9.  Study Design:  Phone survey of 1,102 teens (ages 12-17) and a parent conducted Nov 07 to Feb 08 Key Findings:  97% of respondents played video games (for boys, 99%): younger boys most likely, older girls least like to play  Most played multiple genres; top five reported genres: racing, puzzle, sports, action, adventure  Boys are more likely to play adult-rated games than girls  76% play with friends some of the time (in person or online)
  10. 10.  Parents of Gamers  most monitor play at least some of the time  More than half always monitor ratings of games  67% didn’t feel gaming had any effect (+ or -) on their children Civic Engagement:  Certain qualities of game play consistently positive relationship to civic outcomes  “Characteristics of game play and contexts in which teens play are strongly related to teens’ interest and engagement in civic and political activities”