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Cyberpsychol Behav. 2007 Apr;10(2):204-14.

Stressful life events, motives for Internet use, and social support among digital kids.

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1
Center for Communication Research, School of Journalism & Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong. louisleung@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

This study presents the interrelationships between stressful life events, motives for Internet use, social support, and the use of the Internet among a sample of adolescents and children aged 8 to 18 (N = 717). The results show that stressful life events are significantly associated with the consumption of the Internet for mood management (such as entertainment and information seeking) and social compensation (such as recognition gaining and relationship maintenance) motives. Secondly, the more children and adolescents exhibit high levels of social support, either online or offline, the less they find stressful life events upsetting. Thirdly, as individuals exhibit greater ability to personally access different types of social support to meet their needs, their motivations for Internet use are characteristically more allied to mood-management and social-compensation. This study reasserts that the mental and physical impact of stressful life events are in fact buffered by one's degree of social support and Internet use, particular examples of which are entertainment and relationship maintenance, and positive coping strategies, which temporarily reduce stress and anxiety.

PMID:
17474837
DOI:
10.1089/cpb.2006.9967
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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