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Child Development Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 636929, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/636929
Research Article

Perceptions of Popularity-Related Behaviors in the Cyber Context: Relations to Cyber Social Behaviors

Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, 60200 Brno, Czech Republic

Received 31 July 2015; Accepted 23 November 2015

Academic Editor: Elena Nicoladis

Copyright © 2015 Michelle F. Wright. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Despite acknowledging that adolescents are active users of electronic technology, little is known about their perceptions concerning how such technologies might be used to promote their social standing among their peer group and whether these perceptions relate to their cyber social behaviors (i.e., cyber aggression perpetration, cyber prosocial behavior). To address this gap in the literature, the present study included 857 seventh graders (M age: 12.19; 50.8% female) from a large Midwestern city in the United States. They completed questionnaires on face-to-face social behaviors, cyber social behaviors, perceived popularity, social preference, and their perceptions of characteristics and activities related to the cyber context which might be used to promote popularity. Findings revealed four activities and characteristics used to improve adolescents’ social standing in the peer group, including antisocial behaviors, sociability, prosocial behaviors, and technology access. Using antisocial behaviors in the cyber context to promote popularity was related to cyber aggression perpetration, while controlling for gender, social preference, and perceived popularity. On the other hand, sociability and prosocial behaviors in the cyber context used to improve popularity as well as technology access were associated with cyber prosocial behavior. A call for additional research is made.