Nice or naughty? The role of emotions and digital media use in explaining adolescents’ online prosocial and antisocial behavior

Sara Erreygers*, Heidi Vandebosch, Ivana Vranjes, Elfi Baillien, Hans De Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The opportunities and mostly the risks of digital communication technologies for adolescents have been documented extensively in the last two decades, but less is known about how adolescents interact with each other online, especially regarding positive interactions. Moreover, since online prosocial and antisocial behavior have rarely been assessed simultaneously, it is hard to obtain a balanced view of adolescents’ online behavior. Therefore, in this study, we examined both dimensions of online social behavior and how these are related to adolescents’ experienced emotions and their uses of digital media. Findings indicated that participants performed and received more prosocial than antisocial behavior online. Experiencing negative as well as positive emotions was related to online social behavior, and these associations were mediated by adolescents’ use of social and audiovisual media, but not by gaming or functional Internet use. The social sharing of emotions and mood management theory are used to discuss the results.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalMedia Psychology
Volume20
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)374-400
ISSN1521-3269
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management

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