From being an esoteric to inescapable daily need, in less than a generation, the internet represents a truly socio-economic disruptor. This fast and evolving ubiquitous medium is impacting social aspect of individual and societies-the extent of the impact is inchoate and dynamically evolving. Uncontrolled use leads to problems in the young and old alike leading to behavioural problems. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of age, gender, working status of parents (single or both parents working), family type (nuclear and joint), self-esteem and internet addiction on the Perceived Emotional Support through Social Networking (PESSN) among senior school and college students.
The two age groups (14-17, 18-21) were compared on their PESSN, PES, Internet Addiction and Self Esteem on gender, family type and working status of parents. The correlation between internet addiction, self-esteem and PESSN was also investigated. The study also assessed the predictors of PESSN. Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale, Young’s Internet Addiction Scale, PROMIS
Perceived Emotional Support scale and other demographic details were used.
There were no significant differences between the two age groups and the correlation between Self-esteem, IA and PESSN. Age was the only significant predictor of PESSN. The senior school and the college students were average online users and had average self-esteem scores respectively.
The senior school students live a more supervised and disciplined life till they enter college. Moving out to college, having a greater social base and sometimes away from home, makes them more independent and experimental with time and opportunities available. Age was the only significant predictor for PESSN, implying that college students perceive greater emotional support through social networking. The results of this study put before us the way for further research into the family set up and working status of parents affecting the perceived emotional support through social networking for adolescents and young adults.
The present study has been done on senior school and college students to assess the comparative contemporary trend of internet usage and the changing source of their perceived emotional support. As internet usage has become an integral part of a student’s life from a very early age, we compared the effect of age (college students experience greater freedom than senior school students), gender, working status of parents (single or both parents working), family type (nuclear and joint), self-esteem and internet addiction on the Perceived Emotional Support through Social Networking (PESSN).
keywords: Internet Addiction, Self Esteem, Perceived Emotional Support through social networking,
age, gender, working status of parents, family type