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Adolescents integration of identity constructions in on-and offline social contexts

Författare och institution:
Maria Wängqvist (Psykologiska institutionen); Linnea Wrebo (Psykologiska institutionen)
Publicerad i:
Paper presented at the 14th biennial conference of the European Association for Research on Adolescence, Cesme, Turkey, September 3-6, 2014 ,
Konferensbidrag - refereegranskat abstract
Sammanfattning (abstract):
Today, youth experiment with different self-presentations and explore who they are in both on- and offline contexts. Erikson (1968) emphasized that a sense of identity lead individuals to experience continuity between their views of themselves in the past and the future, as well as across social contexts. To establish a sense of coherence between one’s context-specific identities is thus a crucial aspect of identity formation. Online contexts offer new challenges to the individual’s strive to integrate context-specific identities, but little is known about how. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the importance and integration of identity constructions across on- and offline social contexts in adolescents’ formation of a sense of identity. The participants in this study were 128 Swedish high school students (Mage = 16.9, SD = 0.9), 63 women and 65 men. The participants answered questions about their age, gender, and identity usage; filled out the Identity confusion subscale of the Erikson Psychosocial Stage Inventory— EPSI (Rosenthal, Gurney, & Moore, 1981); and an adapted Swedish version of a questionnaire developed by van Hoof and Raaijmakers (2002, 2003) that measure the importance and identity integration across the four social contexts the own home, school, leisure activities, and Facebook. The results showed that the adolescents thought that other people would get to know them better in the offline contexts than they would if they saw them on Facebook. Moreover, the adolescents’ self-descriptions were more similar across the three offline contexts than between offline contexts and Facebook, but higher integration of all four context-specific identities were related to lower identity confusion. There were also individual differences in the importance of Facebook to the sense of identity. The more individuals felt that Facebook was a context where they could express unique sides of themselves and the more time they spent on Facebook, the more did they feel that people would get to know them if they saw them there. However, the participants thought that the internet in general offered better opportunities to express unique sides of the self than Facebook in particular. Nonetheless, Facebook was the most commonly used webpage, followed by YouTube, Google, and Instagram. From this study it may be concluded that integration of on- and offline identity constructions is important to the sense of identity, but that the importance of online contexts to identity formation may differ depending on the specific online context.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
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Posten skapad:
2014-10-03 16:02

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