Self-Esteem and Use of the Internet Among Young School-Age Children
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The literature suggests a relationship between technology use and self-esteem. Such research has failed to consider young school-aged children and their use of the internet, particularly across contexts. Thirty-eight children aged 6 to 8 years rated the level and nature of their internet use (email, instant message, play games, visit websites) at home, school and in the community (i.e., at someone else’s house). They also rated items that measured home, school and peer self-esteem. Instant messaging at school explained 21% of the differences in school self-esteem. As children tended to report instant messaging at school, they also tended to report the highest school-based self-esteem. Instant messaging at someone else’s house explained 11% of the differences in home self-esteem. As children tended to report instant messaging at someone else’s house, they also tended to report the lowest home self-esteem. Visiting websites at someone else’s house explained 10% of the differences in peer self-esteem. As children tended to report visiting websites at someone else’s house, they also tended to report the highest peer self-esteem. Internet use during the early school years is related to children’s sense of self and mediated by context.
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