The Internet and youth engagement: An exploration of how youth spend their time online and its relation to civic involvement

Publication Year:
2002
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Abstract Views 107
Downloads 88
Repository URL:
https://scholars.wlu.ca/etd/732; https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1731&context=etd
Author(s):
Taylor, Trevor P.D.
Tags:
Child Psychology; Psychology
thesis / dissertation description
A study was conducted to investigate the relationship between Internet use and civic involvement in youth. Participants consisted of 378 youth between the ages of 16 and 25 from across Canada. Participants completed an online questionnaire consisting of a measure called the Youth Inventory of Involvement, designed to assess civic involvement in youth. Brief measures of introversion/extraversion and depression were also completed. Participants then completed questions designed to assess the amount of time they spend online in an average week, as well as for what they use the Internet. Results indicate that there may be a non-linear relationship between amount of time spent online and involvement, with individuals at the extremes in terms of very low or very high Internet use showing lower levels of involvement than more moderate users. Different types of Internet users were identified and also differed in involvement. Contrary to some previous research a link between Internet use and depression was found. This study provides important evidence that a link between Internet use and involvement in youth does in fact exist and also identifies specific types of online activities that were found to be related to both involvement and psychological well-being.