Self disclosure on social networking websites and relationship quality in late adolescence

Kimberly R Goldner, Pace University


Due to adolescents' increasing use of the internet for social reasons, an examination of how internet usage related to relationships with significant figures is important to investigate. Social networking websites, which contain profiles connected by links to friends, continue increasing in popularity, with many adolescents accessing these sites daily. Thus, the internet has become an increasingly important social forum. This study builds upon prior research, by examining how older adolescents utilize social networking websites on the internet. The study examined the usage of social networking websites among 166 undergraduate college students. The study measured how self disclosure on these websites relates to relationship quality with six important figures in adolescents' lives, including mothers, fathers, siblings, same gender friends, other gender friends and romantic partners. More specifically, two relationship quality factors were examined, social support and negative interaction. Measures used include the Degree of Self Disclosure on the Internet scale, Self Disclosure on the Internet Scale, and Network of Relationships Inventory (NRI). This study found that those who self disclose more on their social networking profiles have higher social support from same gender friendships. There was no other significant relationship between self disclosure and relationship quality found. Demographic differences in self disclosure were also measured. Females self disclose significantly more than males. Regarding age differences, younger participants self disclose more than older participants. Ethnic differences were also measured, but no significant differences in terms of ethnicity were found. Finally, there was no significant relationship between the amount of time spent on social networking websites and relationship quality with family, friends or romantic partners. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for adolescents' social and emotional development.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Information systems

Recommended Citation

Goldner, Kimberly R, "Self disclosure on social networking websites and relationship quality in late adolescence" (2008). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3287856.



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