Research Topic

Social Networking Sites and Adjustment Problems in Offline and Online Contexts in Adolescence

About this Research Topic

Social Networking Sites (SNS) on the Internet have become critically important for interpersonal communication among adolescents. Adolescents’ use of these technologies has expanded to such an extent that it has become a primary tool for communicating and exchanging information within this group. These technological tools are characterized by immediacy, anonymity, and globalization. Adolescents strengthen previous social relationships and create new social links via SNS.

One of the most attractive features of SNS is that adolescents feel that they can be an active agent in the process of social interaction beyond geographical proximity. In addition, SNS brings many other benefits such as networking without borders, exchange of ideas, and collaboration. However, the excessive and problematic use of SNS is also associated with many negative adjustment outcomes that include Social Media addiction, gambling, depression, cyberbullying and cyberdating violence. Furthermore, it has been underlined that SNS and Internet problematic use is linked to important maladjustment outcomes from both offline and online contexts such as anger, peer aggression, victimization, and cyberbullying.

However, the relationships among SNS problematic use or addiction and different maladjustment outcomes remains unclear. In addition, some of these adjustment problems move quickly from the real world to virtual world relationships. These continuities between the offline and the online world raise important challenges for the study of adolescence. For instance, research often describes bullying and cyberbullying as being independent ways of peer aggression, when, in fact, they share important risk factors and are strongly related.

Taking into account that a rising amount of adolescents’ interactions take place through SNS, more research is necessary to deeper examine the factors that explain the links between SNS use and maladjustment outcomes in online and offline contexts and their commonalities. This Research Topic aims to go one step further than previous studies by integrating offline and online contexts in adolescents’ adjustment research. In addition, this Research Topic aims to explore different forms of violence and other maladjustment outcomes such as depression, anxiety or suicide ideation on adolescents and their relations to the Internet and SNS use. Lastly, this Research Topic focuses on common risk and protective factors for traditional and online maladjustment outcomes as well as prevention and intervention strategies in different contexts.

Topics of contributions include, but are not limited to:
- Approaches that build a bridge among online and offline contexts and adolescents’ adjustment;
- Research focused on the overlap of different forms of violence in online and offline contexts, such as bullying and cyberbullying or dating violence and online dating violence;
- Intervention programs focused on interventions or preventive programs focused on minimizing the risk of the Internet and SNS in children and adolescents; and
- Research focused on how SNS can strengthen or undermine adolescents’ bonds or social support.


Keywords: Social Networking Sites, Internet, Problematic Social Media Use, Aggression, Maladjustment Outcomes


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Social Networking Sites (SNS) on the Internet have become critically important for interpersonal communication among adolescents. Adolescents’ use of these technologies has expanded to such an extent that it has become a primary tool for communicating and exchanging information within this group. These technological tools are characterized by immediacy, anonymity, and globalization. Adolescents strengthen previous social relationships and create new social links via SNS.

One of the most attractive features of SNS is that adolescents feel that they can be an active agent in the process of social interaction beyond geographical proximity. In addition, SNS brings many other benefits such as networking without borders, exchange of ideas, and collaboration. However, the excessive and problematic use of SNS is also associated with many negative adjustment outcomes that include Social Media addiction, gambling, depression, cyberbullying and cyberdating violence. Furthermore, it has been underlined that SNS and Internet problematic use is linked to important maladjustment outcomes from both offline and online contexts such as anger, peer aggression, victimization, and cyberbullying.

However, the relationships among SNS problematic use or addiction and different maladjustment outcomes remains unclear. In addition, some of these adjustment problems move quickly from the real world to virtual world relationships. These continuities between the offline and the online world raise important challenges for the study of adolescence. For instance, research often describes bullying and cyberbullying as being independent ways of peer aggression, when, in fact, they share important risk factors and are strongly related.

Taking into account that a rising amount of adolescents’ interactions take place through SNS, more research is necessary to deeper examine the factors that explain the links between SNS use and maladjustment outcomes in online and offline contexts and their commonalities. This Research Topic aims to go one step further than previous studies by integrating offline and online contexts in adolescents’ adjustment research. In addition, this Research Topic aims to explore different forms of violence and other maladjustment outcomes such as depression, anxiety or suicide ideation on adolescents and their relations to the Internet and SNS use. Lastly, this Research Topic focuses on common risk and protective factors for traditional and online maladjustment outcomes as well as prevention and intervention strategies in different contexts.

Topics of contributions include, but are not limited to:
- Approaches that build a bridge among online and offline contexts and adolescents’ adjustment;
- Research focused on the overlap of different forms of violence in online and offline contexts, such as bullying and cyberbullying or dating violence and online dating violence;
- Intervention programs focused on interventions or preventive programs focused on minimizing the risk of the Internet and SNS in children and adolescents; and
- Research focused on how SNS can strengthen or undermine adolescents’ bonds or social support.


Keywords: Social Networking Sites, Internet, Problematic Social Media Use, Aggression, Maladjustment Outcomes


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

14 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

14 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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