The theory of planned behaviour applied to young people's use of social networking websites

Pelling, Emma & White, Katherine M. (2009) The theory of planned behaviour applied to young people's use of social networking websites. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 12, pp. 755-759.

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Despite the increasing popularity of social networking websites (SNWs), very little is known about the psychosocial variables which predict people’s use of these websites. The present study used an extended model of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), including the additional variables of self-identity and belongingness, to predict high level SNW use intentions and behaviour in a sample of young people aged between 17 and 24 years. Additional analayses examined the impact of self-identity and belongingness on young people’s addictive tendencies towards SNWs. University students (N = 233) completed measures of the standard TPB constructs (attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control), the additional predictor variables (self-identity and belongingness), demographic variables (age, gender, and past behaviour) and addictive tendencies. One week later, they reported their engagement in high level SNW use during the previous week. Regression analyses partially supported the TPB, as attitude and subjective norm signficantly predicted intentions to engage in high level SNW use with intention signficantly predicting behaviour. Self-identity, but not belongingness, signficantly contributed to the prediction of intention, and, unexpectedly, behaviour. Past behaviour also signficantly predicted intention and behaviour. Self-identity and belongingness signficantly predicted addictive tendencies toward SNWs. Overall, the present study revealed that high level SNW use is influenced by attitudinal, normative, and self-identity factors, findings which can be used to inform strategies that aim to modify young people’s high levels of use or addictive tendencies for SNWs.

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ID Code: 29193
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2009.0109
ISSN: 1094-9313
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Copyright Statement: This is a copy of an article published in the [Cyberpsychology & Behavior] © [2009] [copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.]; [Cyberpsychology & Behavior} is available online at:
Deposited On: 09 Dec 2009 06:47
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 15:23

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