Understanding social media and identity work in young people transitioning to university

Lisa Thomas, Pamela Briggs, Andrew Hartley, Finola Kerrigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Social media (SM) are a core component of young people's lives and have been researched in relation to relationship building and maintenance. While SM are known to be useful in supporting life transitions for young people, we know little about the specific use patterns or activities associated with social adjustment during the specific transition to university. We explore the use of social media during the student transition to university in relation to theories of social comparison and community building and describe a three stage process which accounts for this transition. Participants move through the stages of affirmation, assimilation and integration similar to other life transitions, but in doing so, we reveal the importance of the intersection between offline and online activities and highlight the benefits and limitations of SM use in this transitional period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-553
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Early online date14 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding social media and identity work in young people transitioning to university'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this