Connecting and protecting? Comparing predictors of self-disclosure and privacy settings use between adolescents and adults

Michel Walrave*, Ini Vanwesenbeeck, Wannes Heirman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study serves two purposes. First, we explore how adolescents and adults approach the disclosure of personal information and the application of privacy settings on social network sites (SNS). Second, we investigate whether the factors that predict these two privacy-management strategies differ for adolescents and adults. To achieve the goals of this study, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1484 SNS users ranging in age from 10 to 65 years. In addition to gender and age, we investigated the following predictors: frequency of and motives for SNS use, trust in other users, peer influence and concerns related to privacy and contact risks. The results show that adolescents disclose more personal data and apply more lenient privacy settings to these data than adults do. Several factors were found to affect disclosure and profile-access management, with differences between adolescents and adults in some cases. Finally, we discuss implications emerging from the study's findings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCyberpsychology
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Privacy settings
  • Self-disclosure
  • Social network sites

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