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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Participation in online environments : its relationship to adolescent self-concept Law, Danielle M.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between online participation and adolescent self-concept. Specifically, this study examined (a) how online participation differed across five online venues (Multi-player Online Role Playing Games, Chatrooms, Instant Messaging, Email, and Newsgroups/Forums), as a function of gender and age, (b) how subjective importance of online venues and the nature of online relationships influenced domain and general self-conceptions, (c) whether online selfconceptions moderate the relationship between domains of self-concept and global selfworth, and (d) whether online self-conceptions mediate the relationship between domain self-conceptions and global self-worth. A total of 363 (184 males, and 179 females) students, whose ages ranged from 11 to 19 years of age, participated in this study. Overall, males used Multi-player Online Role Playing Games, Chatrooms, and Newsgroups/Forums more than females, while females tended to use Email and IM slightly more than males. With regards to Internet participation and self-concept, significant main and interaction effects were found; however, these effects varied according to the online venue, the domain of self-concept, and with whom the adolescents were participating. Additionally, moderation and mediation effects were confirmed for some online venues, thus suggesting that a relationship between online participation and self-concept exists. Several recommendations for future research are discussed.

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