Virtual Worlds in Development: Implications of Social Networking Sites

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In this special issue, we examine the developmental implications of young people's use of online social networking sites. Social networking sites are “web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.” Social networking sites are very versatile and afford users the capabilities of earlier applications, such as exchanging private messages and uploading user generated content, as well as many new ones such as finding old friends and making new friends, having networks of friends that are “public,” and viewing “news feeds” or “activity updates” that detail what is happening in the lives of the people in one's online network. Young people are living life online and in public via these sites. The papers in this collection are methodologically diverse and address some of the methodological challenges inherent to studying behavior in online environments. The articles in this special issue are a first step toward studying the developmental implications of young people's use of social networking sites. Together the studies represent new and creative ways of dealing with the methodological challenges to study online. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology



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