Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Susan Panichelli-Mindel, PhD

Second Advisor

Celine Thompson, PhD

Third Advisor

William LaValle, PsyD


The emergence of social networking sites (SNSs) has led to marked shifts in the ways that individuals communicate, share, and acquire information. Present-day adolescents are the first generation to grow up with these technologies and are among the most frequent users (Shapiro & Margolin, 2014). Although the technological landscape continues to evolve, the impact it has on aspects of adolescent development remains poorly understood. This study examined the possible relationship between SNS use and perceptions of social connectedness and friendship quality in a sample of Canadian and American adolescents. A self-report questionnaire developed by the author was utilized to examine the ways participants use SNSs. The Social Connectedness Scale (Lee, Draper, & Lee, 2001) and a modified version of this scale were used to measure offline and online social connectedness. The Friendship Quality Scale (FQS; Bukowski, Hoza, & Boivin, 1994) and a modified version of this scale were used to measure aspects of offline and online friendship quality. The results showed a nonsignificant relationship between the amount of time adolescents spent on SNSs for both friendship quality and social connectedness. The ways that adolescents used SNSs (e.g., for communication or non-communication purposes) were also found to be nonsignificant in their relation to friendship quality and social connectedness. These results are likely due to the variability in the ways that participants spent their time online as well as the overlap between offline and online domains. The finding that using SNSs for communication purposes did not impact friendship quality or social connectedness is likely due to the changing nature of SNSs, which facilitates visually-based information sharing and can result in superficial communication. Limitations of the study and future directions are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons