Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This study explores the impact of frequent use of Online Social Network (OSN) sites on late adolescent and emerging adult social experiences. Information for this study was gathered using 12 in-person, semi-structured interviews with late adolescents/emerging adults about their OSN experiences. This study looks at the overall experience of socializing using OSNs and what this is like for youth in their late teens and early twenties. The study results support that OSN use can provide a sense of connectedness, as well as create difficulties, in relationship termination and provide opportunities for boundary violations by acquaintances and ex-partners. The data show that while OSN use may create vulnerability in terms of emotional safety, many OSN users are educated about how to keep themselves physically safe when they log on. The results of this study indicate that clinicians who work with youth need to be well informed about OSNs and the types of online social experiences their clients are experiencing in order to have a complete idea of the context of their clients.


Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2008. iii, 53 p. : ill. Includes bibliographical references (p. 42-44)