Impact of Social Networking Sites on Children in Military Families
- 1.3k Downloads
Youth in military families experience a relatively unique set of stressors that can put them at risk for numerous psychological and behavior problems. Thus, there is a need to identify potential mechanisms by which children can gain resiliency against these stressors. One potential mechanism that has yet to be empirically studied with military youth is social networking sites (SNSs). SNSs have gained significant popularity among society, especially youth. Given the significance of these communication tools in youths’ lives, it is important to analyze how SNS use may affect military youth and their ability to cope with common military life stressors. The current review examines the potential positive and negative consequences associated with SNS use in coping with three common stressors of youth in military families: parent deployment, frequent relocation, and having a family member with a psychological or physical disability. By drawing from SNS and military literature, we predict that SNS use can be a positive tool for helping children in military families to cope with stressors. However, certain SNS behaviors can potentially result in more negative outcomes. Recommendations for future research are also discussed.
KeywordsChildren Social networking sites Military Psycho-social adjustment
The authors wish to thank Dr. Jeffrey Hall for his helpful comments and suggestions on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
This study had no external funding.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This is a review article, and thus, contains no data from human participants collected by the authors.
- Adler, A., & Castro, C. (2001). U.S. soldiers and peacekeeping deployments. Pentagon Technical Report A584293. U.S. Army Medical Research and Material.Google Scholar
- American Psychological Association. (2007). Presidential task force report on military deployment services for youth, families and service members. The psychological needs of US service members and their families: A preliminary report. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Association, National. Military. Family. (2004). Serving the home front: An analysis of military family support from September 11, 2001 through March 31, 2004. Alexandria: National Military Family Association.Google Scholar
- Baym, N. K. (2015). Personal connections in the digital age. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Blue Star Families. (2013). Everyone serves: A handbook for family & friends of service members. New York: NBC Publishing.Google Scholar
- Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer Communication, 13, 210–230.Google Scholar
- Bradshaw, C. P., Sudhinaraset, M., Mmari, K., & Blum, R. W. (2010). School transitions among military adolescents: A qualitative study of stress and coping. School Psychology Review, 39, 84–105.Google Scholar
- Card, N. A., Bosch, L., Casper, D. M., Wiggs, C. B., Hawkins, S. A., Schlomer, G. L., & Borden, L. M. (2011). A meta-analytic review of internalizing, externalizing, and academic adjustment among children of deployed military service members. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 508–520.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Chandra, A., Lara-Cinisomo, S., Jaycox, L. H., Tanielian, T., Han, B., & Burns, R. M. (2013). Views from the homefront: The experiences of youth and spouses from military families. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2011.Google Scholar
- Cooney, R., De Angelis, K., & Segal, M. W. (2011). Moving with the military: Race, class, and gender differences in the employment consequences of tied migration. Race, Gender & Class, 18, 360–384.Google Scholar
- Cozza, S. J., Guimond, J. M., McKibben, J., Chun, R. S., Arata-Maiers, T. L., Schneider, B., & Ursano, R. J. (2010). Combat-injured service members and their families: The relationship of child distress and spouse-perceived family distress and disruption. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 112–115.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Department of Defense. (2013). 2013 Demographics: Profile of the military community. Washington: Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.Google Scholar
- Department of Defense Education Activity. (2011). Military K–12 partners: A DoDEA partnership program. http://www.militaryk12partners.dodea.edu/index.cfm.
- Good, A., Sambhantham, A., & Panjganj, V. (2013). Looking back at Facebook content and the positive impact upon wellbeing: exploring reminiscing as a tool for self soothing. In A. Ozok & P. Zaphiris (Eds.), Online communities and social computing (pp. 278–286). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hazan, C., & Zeifman, D. (1994). Sex and the psychological tether. In D. Perlman & K. Bartholomew (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships (pp. 151–180). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
- Hisle-Gorman, E., Harrington, D., Nylund, C. M., Tercyak, K. P., Anthony, B. J., & Gorman, G. H. (2015). Impact of parents’ wartime military deployment and injury on young children’s safety and mental health. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54, 294–301.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Huang, G. C., Soto, D., Fujimoto, K., & Valente, T. W. (2014). The interplay of friendship networks and social networking sites: Longitudinal analysis of selection and influence effects on adolescent smoking and alcohol use. American Journal of Public Health, 104, e51–e59.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Institute of Medicine. (2013). Returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of readjustment needs of veterans, service members, and their families. Washington: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Lenhart, A., & Page, D. (2015). Teen, social media and technology overview 2015. Pew Research Center. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015.
- Lester, P., Peterson, K., Reeves, J., Knauss, L., Glover, D., Mogil, C., & Beardslee, W. (2010). The long war and parental combat deployment: Effects on military children and at-home spouses. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 310–320.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Moorhead, S. A., Hazlett, D. E., Harrison, L., Carroll, J. K., Irwin, A., & Hoving, C. (2013). A new dimension of health care: Systematic review of the uses, benefits, and limitations of social media for health communication. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15, e85. doi: 10.2196/jmir.1933.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Orthner, D. K., Giddings, M. M., & Quinn, W. (1987). Youth in transition: A study of adolescents from military and civilian families. Washington: Department of the Air Force.Google Scholar
- Pincus, S., House, R., Christenson, J., & Adler, L. (2005). The emotional cycle of deployment: A military family perspective. http://www.hooah4health.com/deployment/familymatters/emotionalcycle2.htm.
- PR Newswire. (2015). Facebook reports first quarter 2015 results. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/facebook-reports-first-quarter-2015-results-300070539.html.
- Rice, S. M., Goodall, J., Hetrick, S. E., Parker, A. G., Gilbertson, T., Amminger, G. P., & Alvarez-Jimenez, M. (2014). Online and social networking interventions for the treatment of depression in young people: A systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16, e206. doi: 10.2196/jmir.3304.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Rosen, L. D. (2007). Me, MySpace, and I: Parenting the net generation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2007). Results from the 2006 national survey on drug use and health: National findings. Rockville: Office of Applied Studies.Google Scholar
- Tanielian, T., & Jaycox, L. (2008). Invisible wounds of war: Psychological and cognitive injuries, their consequences, and services to assist recovery. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation.Google Scholar
- Twitter. (2015). Twitter usage/company facts. https://about.twitter.com/company.
- Vitak, J. (2014). Facebook makes the heart grow fonder. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work & social computing—CSCW’14, pp. 842–853. doi: 10.1145/2531602.2531726.
- Wiens, T. W., & Boss, P. (2006). Maintaining family resiliency before, during, and after military separation. In C. Castro & A. Adler (Eds.), The psychology of serving in peace and combat (Vol. 3): The military family (pp. 13–38). Westport, CT: Praeger Security International.Google Scholar