Social Networks

Adolescent Development, Socialization, and the Internet

Evaluate how social learning theory and strain theory could be used to explain adolescent development and behavior

Social learning theory suggests that adolescents learn from observing the behaviors of others, not simply in real life but also online. In fact, the mores and accepted behaviors for online interactions are often quite different from what is considered acceptable behavior offline. Teens may be emboldened by the anonymity conferred by an online avatar that enables them to hide their real names. Even if not anonymous, the distance between themselves and their online targets may encourage more meanness and cattiness than would ever take place in a face-to-face context.

As depicted in the Frontline documentary Growing Up Online, both adults and children will often not apply the same ethical standards to the behaviors in which they engage in online as they do to behaviors in...
[ View Full Essay]