Objective. This study examined the relationship between youth leisure activities, peer relations, and prosocial attitudes and the frequency of Internet use among adolescents in Israel. Methods. Hypotheses were tested using data from a face-to-face survey of a representative sample of the Israeli youth population (n = 927) conducted in February 1998. Results. It was found that the lower an individual's level of attachment to close friends and the less prosocial attitudes he/she expressed, the higher was the likelihood of his/her being a frequent Internet user. However, Internet users were more likely than nonusers to participate in social activities such as parties, singers' performances, and sports activities. Conclusions. Contrary to public perceptions it appears that among the adolescent population of Israel, Internet use is not displacing other social activities. However, adolescents who are more socially isolated are more likely to be frequent Internet users. Future research should explore whether for this group, the Internet is being used to overcome individuals' barriers to the formation of social relationships.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (all)