Digital Youth pp 123-142 | Cite as

Internet Use and Well-Being: Physical and Psychological Effects

Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


The second part of the book starting with this chapter looks at the practical implications of young people’s interactions with technology. This chapter takes an in-depth look into how adolescents’ online activities influence their well-being. First, it suggests some of the different pathways by which the Internet might mediate well-being. Then, it examines the direct and indirect effects of technology on physical well-being. Some of the direct effects include the potential for physical injuries, physiological arousal; indirect effects include the relation between technology use and obesity and sleep patterns. In the final section, the chapter describes extant research on the relation between Internet use and psychological well-being and the factors (e.g., user characteristics, kind of online activity) that mediate this relation. Two other important issues that we address are short-term effects and the effect of negative interactions on well-being. Throughout, we emphasize the important of education to ensure that youth use technology in ways that will enhance their well-being.


Social Capital Social Networking Site Online Communication Physiological Arousal Chat Room 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Social StudiesMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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