PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBecause self-esteem is an important factor in many other areas of normative development for adolescents, understanding how it may be impacted by their involvement in online communities is increasingly important as rates of use continue to rise. 79 members of online communities, including gaming, fandom, and special interest communities, completed an online survey that covered general questions about their level of involvement (hours spent weekly, age of first involvement, presence and closeness of online friends), a self-esteem test, and a Big 5 personality test. Results seemed to indicate that there is a "tipping point" for hourly involvement, as those who reported spending more than 25 hours per week engaged in online communities were found to have significantly lower self-esteem scores. This tipping point may be important for both developers of online communities and those who work with youth in considering a healthy balance of involvement in online communities with other activities. There was no significant relationship found between self-esteem and age of first involvement, suggesting that simply becoming engaged in online communities does not have a negative impact on adolescent self-esteem.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Family Studies and Human Development