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Cyberpsychol Behav. 2009 Dec;12(6):755-9. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2009.0109.

The theory of planned behavior applied to young people's use of social networking Web sites.

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1
School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, Queensland 5059, Australia.

Abstract

Despite the increasing popularity of social networking Web sites (SNWs), very little is known about the psychosocial variables that predict people's use of these Web sites. The present study used an extended model of the theory of planned behavior (TPB), including the additional variables of self-identity and belongingness, to predict high-level SNW use intentions and behavior in a sample of young people ages 17 to 24 years. Additional analyses examined the impact of self-identity and belongingness on young people's addictive tendencies toward SNWs. University students (N = 233) completed measures of the standard TPB constructs (attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control), the additional predictor variables (self-identity and belongingness), demographic variables (age, gender, and past behavior), and addictive tendencies. One week later, they reported their engagement in high-level SNW use during the previous week. Regression analyses partially supported the TPB: attitude and subjective norm significantly predicted intentions to engage in high-level SNW use with intention significantly predicting behavior. Self-identity, but not belongingness, significantly contributed to the prediction of intention and, unexpectedly, behavior. Past behavior also significantly predicted intention and behavior. Self-identity and belongingness significantly predicted addictive tendencies toward SNWs. Overall, the present study revealed that high-level SNW use is influenced by attitudinal, normative, and self-identity factors, findings that can be used to inform strategies that aim to modify young people's high levels of use or addictive tendencies for SNWs.

PMID:
19788377
DOI:
10.1089/cpb.2009.0109
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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