Nice or naughty? The role of emotions and digital media use in explaining adolescents' online prosocial and antisocial behavior
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Media psychology. - Mahwah, N.J., 1999, currens
, p. 1-27
University of Antwerp
The opportunities and mostly the risks of digital communication technologies for adolescents have been documented extensively in the last two decades, but less is known about how adolescents interact with each other online, especially regarding positive interactions. Moreover, since online prosocial and antisocial behavior have rarely been assessed simultaneously, it is hard to obtain a balanced view of adolescents online behavior. Therefore, in this study, we examined both dimensions of online social behavior and how these are related to adolescents experienced emotions and their uses of digital media. Findings indicated that participants performed and received more prosocial than antisocial behavior online. Experiencing negative as well as positive emotions was related to online social behavior, and these associations were mediated by adolescents use of social and audiovisual media, but not by gaming or functional Internet use. The social sharing of emotions and mood management theory are used to discuss the results.