Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 14608120
Project Title(English) : Longitudinal profiles of risky online behaviors among early adolescents: Associations with indicators of positive technological development using a person-centered approach 
Project Title(Chinese) : 青少年網上風險行為與正面科技發展關係的追蹤研究 
Principal Investigator(English) : Prof Lau, Wilfred Wing-fat 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) :  
Department : Dept of Curriculum & Instruction
Institution : The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Dr Chu, Samuel Kai Wah
Dr Leung, Nga Man Angel
Prof Mesch, Gustavo S.
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Education
Exercise Year : 2020 / 21
Fund Approved : 884,126
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 30-6-2024
Abstract as per original application
This study examines the longitudinal profiles of risky online behaviors among early adolescents and their relationships with indicators of positive technological development (PTD) using a person-centered approach. It attempts to disentangle the complex relationships between risky online behaviors and PTD in order to engage youth in positive technology use. Adolescents living in the Internet era can freely navigate the so-called cyberspace. Whereas the Internet provides instantly available information for educational and entertainment purposes, it also affords anonymity for those who choose to take risks online. Recent years have seen an upsurge in such risky online behaviors as game addiction, online victimization, and cyberbullying. This phenomenon demands our collective efforts to devise appropriate strategies to deal with these behaviors. Whereas the negative impacts of technology on adolescents’ wellbeing have been extensively researched and reported in society and academia, this study uses the PTD framework proposed by Bers, Lynch, and Chau (2012) to delineate and promote the positive development of young people in technology-rich contexts. In the framework, there are six assets of PTD, called the six Cs: competence, confidence, character, connection, caring, and contribution. Specifically, this study extends previous research by adopting a person-centered approach to profile risky online behaviors among early adolescents over three years and identifying the developmental trajectories of their risky online behaviors and PTD. Most importantly, it assesses the intricate relationships between the various profiles of risky online behaviors and the indicators of PTD. In doing so, this study addresses the perennial issue that risky online behaviors are manifested differently in different young people and are differentially associated with different positive outcomes. Theoretically, the study will provide findings for researchers to understand interindividual differences in intraindividual characteristics of risky online behaviors and PTD and to articulate their complex relationships longitudinally. Practically, parents and teachers will be better informed as to how to communicate and negotiate with the current generation of adolescents about the importance of PTD. The Education Bureau may utilize the findings of the study to design and implement integrated and individualized evidence-based youth development programs to help those youth who suffer from online behavioral problems from the perspective of PTD. Policymakers will be more equipped with knowledge and understanding to formulate developmentally attentive youth policy to improve the lives of youth and their families.
Research Outcome
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