Discovering unique profiles of adolescent information and communication technology (ICT) use: Are ICT use preferences associated with identity and behaviour development?



Over the course of the last seven years, the average weekly screen-time of youth has dramatically increased. The present study was designed to better understand how young people utilise multiple types of information and communication technology (ICT) in their everyday lives and how these preferences may be associated with key aspects of their development. To this end, the present study was designed to explore whether specific profiles of technology usage would be associated with key characteristics of identity and behaviour. To identify groups of adolescents who share similar technology use habits, a sample of 933 adolescents reported on their time spent interacting with various digital communication devices and associated platforms. Utilizing a latent profile analysis, four distinct profiles of technology use preferences emerged. Then, a series of linear regressions were calculated to investigate the degree to which class membership predicted indicators of identity and problem behaviours. The findings suggest that important concepts of both identity and behaviour are associated with individual ICT usage preferences. Acknowledging the cross-sectional nature of the data, it is suggested that the impact of clusters of communication technology use on adolescent development should be investigated with longitudinal data.

Technology; adolescence; identity; behaviour; development

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