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Title: Adolescent girls, social cognition and technology
Author: Levine, Diane Thembekile
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 5645
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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Technology is almost ubiquitous among adolescents in contemporary British society. Despite this, we do not have a meaningful understanding of the interplay between adolescent girls’ developing social cognition and their use of digital devices. This study aims to address this gap in understanding. Four pre-pubescent and eleven pubescent young women based in the Midlands and from across the socio-economic spectrum participated between 2012-2013. Participant completed six research tools and eleven of them participated in a face-to-face interview. Three tools were adapted from the existing psychology literature, and the remainder were developed specifically for this study. The tools explored technology-mediated attachment and relationships, self and identity, attribution and Theory of Mind. The findings suggest that the moral panics surrounding technology use in adolescence are misplaced; rather, adolescent girls with a good range of personal and situational resources are likely to exert considerable choice in their uses of technology, and social media in particular. Valsiner’s Zones and life course perspectives were used to conceptualise the emerging understanding of technology-mediated social cognition in adolescent girls. This theoretical framework made it possible to do four things. Firstly, to recognize adolescents’ active choice and agency. Secondly, to articulate development opportunities within individuals, relationships and technological environments. Thirdly to locate physiological and psychological development within the broader socio-technical realm. And finally, to see technology as neither positive nor negative but as shaping, rather than defining adolescent perspectives, behaviours and relationships. These possibilities suggest that, rather than attempting to shoehorn adolescent experience into a single paradigm or model we need to ask ourselves key questions about the interplay between the individual adolescent and the technology they choose to use.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education