Home > Social networking patterns/hazards among Irish teenagers.

Machold, Clea and Judge, G and Mavrinac, A and Elliott, Joe and Murphy, Anne Marie and Roche, Edna (2012) Social networking patterns/hazards among Irish teenagers. Irish Medical Journal, 105, (5), pp. 151-152.

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Social Networking Sites (SNSs) have grown substantially, posing new hazards to teenagers. This study aimed to determine general patterns of Internet usage among Irish teenagers aged 11-16 years, and to identify potential hazards, including; bullying, inappropriate contact, overuse, addiction and invasion of users’ privacy. A cross-sectional study design was employed to survey students at three Irish secondary schools, with a sample of 474 completing a questionnaire. 202(44%) (n=460) accessed the Internet using a shared home computer. Two hours or less were spent online daily by 285(62%), of whom 450(98%) were unsupervised. 306(72%) (n=425) reported frequent usage of SNSs, 403(95%) of whom were Facebook users. 42(10%) males and 51(12%) females experienced bullying online, while 114(27%) reported inappropriate contact from others. Concerning overuse and the risk of addiction, 140(33%) felt they accessed SNSs too often. These patterns among Irish teenagers suggest that SNS usage poses significant dangers, which are going largely unaddressed.

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