Variations in Internet-Related Problems and Psychosocial Functioning in Online Sexual Activities: Implications for Social and Sexual Development of Young Adults

Sylvain C. Boies, Al Cooper, Cynthia S. Osborne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This survey of 760 university students examined differences in Internet-related problems and psychosocial functioning between four patterns of participation in online sexual information and entertainment activities. Students who did not participate in either online sexual activity were more satisfied with their offline life and more connected to friends and family. Those who engaged in both online sexual activities were more dependent on the Internet and reported lower offline functioning. Students who only sought sexual information maintained strong offline affiliations. Those who only sought entertainment did not report lower offline functioning. Respondents most deficient in offline social support did not report compensatory online support. Despite students' common participation in online sexual activities (OSA) as a venue for social and sexual development, those relying on the Internet and the affiliations it provides appear at risk of decreased social integration. The authors discussed the finding's implications for social and sexual development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-230
Number of pages24
JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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