University of Pretoria
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The effect of the use of social media on young adults during adolescence

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posted on 2023-07-24, 14:15 authored by Evadné FourieEvadné Fourie

This data depicts young adults' reflections on their experiences of social media use during adolescence with the goal of better understanding the effects of social media use on a sample of South African adolescents. The study formed part of a group research project in which several researchers conducted individual studies countrywide on the topic.

The goal of the study was to explore and describe young adults’ reflections on their experiences of social media use during adolescence, and the research question for the study was 'what are young adults’ reflections on their experiences of social media use during adolescence?'. The following research methodology was employed, a qualitative research approach; an interpretivist paradigm; the research was regarded as applied research and was guided by an instrumental case study design. The sample was selected by means of snowball and purposive sampling; data was collected by means of a semi-structured interview, with the use of an interview schedule; and thematic analysis was utilised to analyse the data that was obtained. 

The theoretical framework for this study was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. The researcher interviewed 10 participants who fit the specific criteria for inclusion; the sample consisted of young adults living in South Africa, within the geographical area of the City of Tshwane. Participants were between the ages of 19 and 25 and gave an account of their reflections on their social media use between the ages of 11 and 18. Participants were also affected in terms of their biological development (i.e., physical, cognitive, emotional, social, moral as well as their identity development). 



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