Youth and Development Essay
2006, Vol. 42, No. 3, 391–394
Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association
0012-1649/06/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0012-16220.127.116.111
Children, Adolescents, and the Internet: A New Field of Inquiry in
University of California, Los Angeles
University at Albany, State University of New York
With this special section on children, adolescents, and the Internet, we survey the state of a new field of enquiry in developmental psychology. This field is important because developmentalists need to understand how children and adolescents live in a new, massive, and complex virtual universe, even as they carry on their lives in the real world. We have selected …show more content…
Internet much more than children do (e.g., Thornburgh & Lin,
2002). However, the age of first Internet use is rapidly descending
(e.g., Wartella, Vandewater, & Rideout, 2005), and developmental researchers are beginning to follow the age trend downward.
Meanwhile, developmental psychologists face the significant challenge of how to study Internet use among young and older adults from a life span developmental perspective, complementing the industrial psychology and cognitive psychology perspectives that are currently popular.
We also utilized a very broad definition of development. The six articles include traditional operationalizations of development, such as cross-sectional age comparisons (Yan), short-term longitudinal study (Jackson et al.), and development as a life cycle stage
(Whitlock; Subrahmanyam et al.;