Friendship is valuable to teenagers online and off, finds to a new review of studies of teenagers’ virtual social interactions.
University of California, Irvine, researchers looked at six characteristics of friendship: self-disclosure, validation, companionship, instrumental support, conflict, and conflict resolution. Based on an analysis of 36 peer-reviewed studies of those characteristics, the review found friendships fulfill the same emotional needs online that they do in person. For example, teenagers used Snapchat and instant-message platforms to both share daily moments and reach out in times of stress.
A version of this article appeared in the October 11, 2017 edition of Education Week as Social-Emotional Development