Congratulations to Dr. Wisniewski on co-authoring an article in the December 2020 edition of the Computers in Human Behavior Journal, which is dedicated to examining the use of computers and computing technology from a psychological perspective. The article, titled “Examining how Online Risk Exposure and Online Social Capital Influence Adolescent Psychological Stress”, presents the results of a web-based survey, whose findings show that exposure to online risks helped explain the association between Internet usage and adolescent psychological stress. The article citation and abstract is listed below:
- Magsoudi, R., Shapka, J., and Wisniewski, P. (2020). Examining how online risk exposure and online social capital influence adolescent psychological stress. Computers in Human Behavior, 113, 106488.
Abstract: The present study applies a social ecological framework of adolescent resilience to examine how online risk exposure (e.g., online harassment and sexual solicitations) and online social capital (i.e., resources and support garnered from one’s community) influence psychological stress on adolescents. We conducted a web-based survey of adolescents (aged 13 to 17) in the United States, and found that exposure to online risks helped explain the association between Internet usage and adolescent psychological stress. Contrary to our hypotheses, online social capital moderated the relationship between online risk exposure and psychological stress in unanticipated ways. Instead of playing a protective role by reducing stress, high levels of online social capital strengthened the relationship between risk exposure and psychological stress. This suggests that adolescents who rely heavily on the formation of social capital online may be more vulnerable to psychological stress resulting from online risk exposure than adolescents who do not garner social capital from online environments. Our study is the first to identify online social capital as a potential risk factor in relation to Internet use and online risk exposure for adolescents. We discuss the implications of our findings for researchers, educators, parents and adolescents.