Self-Esteem and Use of the Internet among Young School-Age Children

Genevieve Marie Johnson

Abstract


The literature suggests a relationship between technology use and self-esteem. Such research has failed to
consider young school-aged children and their use of the internet, particularly across contexts. Thirty-eight
children aged 6 to 8 years rated the level and nature of their internet use (email, instant message, play games,
visit websites) at home, school and in the community (i.e., at someone else’s house). They also rated items that
measured home, school and peer self-esteem. Instant messaging at school explained 21% of the differences in
school self-esteem. As children tended to report instant messaging at school, they also tended to report the
highest school-based self-esteem. Instant messaging at someone else’s house explained 11% of the differences in
home self-esteem. As children tended to report instant messaging at someone else’s house, they also tended to
report the lowest home self-esteem. Visiting websites at someone else’s house explained 10% of the differences
in peer self-esteem. As children tended to report visiting websites at someone else’s house, they also tended to
report the highest peer self-esteem. Internet use during the early school years is related to children’s sense of self
and mediated by context.


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International Journal of Psychological Studies   ISSN 1918-7211 (Print)   ISSN 1918-722X (Online)

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