van den Eijnden, R. J. J. M., Meerkerk, G.-J., Vermulst, A. A., Spijkerman, R., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2008). Online communication, compulsive internet use, and psychosocial well-being among adolescents: A longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 44(3), 655-665.
The present study investigated the relationships between adolescents’ online communication and compulsive Internet use, depression, and loneliness. The study had a 2-wave longitudinal design with an interval of 6 months. The sample consisted of 663 students, 318 male and 345 female, ages 12 to 15 years. Questionnaires were administered in a classroom setting. The results showed that instant messenger use and chatting in chat rooms were positively related to compulsive Internet use 6 months later. Moreover, in agreement with the well-known HomeNet study (R. Kraut et al., 1998), instant messenger use was positively associated with depression 6 months later. Finally, loneliness was negatively related to instant messenger use 6 months later.
Editor Jacquelynne Eccles, PhD