UCI News

UC Irvine News Brief: Social networking can be good for teens, researchers find

"Our study suggests that online uses support the development of adolescents rather than placing them at increased risk," says UCI's Stephanie Reich.

March 6, 2012

A new study in the journal Developmental Psychology (purchase required) shows that online social networks can be beneficial to the social and emotional development of adolescents. Led by UCI assistant professor of education Stephanie Reich (pictured), researchers found that teens utilize such networks to connect with friends they know in real life, are selective about what personal information they post on their profiles, and rarely engage in flirtatious or stranger-seeking behaviors online. “Our study suggests that online uses support the development of adolescents rather than placing them at increased risk,” Reich says. Her co-authors are Kaveri Subrahmanyam of Cal State Los Angeles and Guadalupe Espinoza of UCLA.