Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Theses & dissertations (College of Business)

First Advisor

Brian Mennecke


This study investigates the relationship between the disclosure of intimate information by adolescents aged 18-21 through Facebook and the developmental stage they are in as per Erikson's (1968) psychosocial development theory. A meta analysis of the literature on presence and computer mediated communication supports the contention that mediated presence may help increase disclosure of intimacy online. Erickson's tenets also contribute to an understanding of identity definition processes as given in a social context that benefits from disclosure of intimacy. Given popular media's negative coverage of adolescents' internet indiscretions, this study proposes a framework for understanding the Net Generation's disclosure of intimacy online. Metrics on identity status and tendency to disclose information on face-to-face settings are employed to inform the relationship between these factors. To illustrate the disclosure behaviors of young college students on Facebook, a content analysis of profiles captured during the summer of 2008 is discussed. A conceptual model to illustrate the proposed processes is presented and explained. This study capitalizes on the unique perspective offered by the coming of age of the first Facebook generation and offers an insight into the new set of practices, norms, and social boundaries that are emerging in response to this social networking site.


Copyright Owner

Zayira Jordan



Date Available


File Format


File Size

109 pages

Included in

Business Commons