Bridging the Gap between Adolescents and Adults: A Case Study on Experiences of Teenagers while using Social Networking Site and their Willingness to Seek Adult Help

A.R. Mubarak , Judy O' Sullivan, Zoe Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the positive and negative experiences of adolescent users of social networking sites (SNS) and the level of adult support they receive to deal with the challenges related to the use of SNS. Data for this research were collected through focus groups comprising 192 male and female adolescents aged between 12 and 17 living in Adelaide, South Australia. The focus-group discussions revealed that young people enjoyed social networking for a variety of positive reasons; however they also encountered a wide range of issues associated with the ways that they, and others, make use of this technology. This study respondents indicated the presence of a gap existing between adolescents and adults and this gap needs to be urgently narrowed in order to enable adults to provide appropriate support and help to ensure that young people are safe when using SNS. Based on its findings the present study argues that more studies are needed in order to understand the interesting and complex experiences of teenagers while using SNS, the rules which teenagers apply while using the SNS, and how far these conventions differ from those set by adults; all of these are needed in order to reduce the gap that currently exists between young people and adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-42
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Computers and Applications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

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