Do Social Networking Sites Behaviour and Self-esteem Predict Young People’s Delinquent Behaviour in Their Actual Lives?

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Original languageEnglish
Article number177
Journal / PublicationSociology and Criminology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018



This study attempted to investigate the predictive effects of self-concept, social networking site (SNS) intensity on delinquency. A total of 216 secondary school students from Hong Kong completed the Chinese Adolescent Self-Esteem Scales (CASES), the Facebook Intensity Scale and a daily behaviour checklist. Findings revealed that usage of Social Network Sites (SNS) and some facets of self-esteem had direct and moderating effects on predicting delinquency and minor deviant behaviour, but global self-esteem did not have significant predictive effects on delinquency. Different effects were found between domain-specific self-concepts and delinquency, such that intellectual, moral and family self-concepts had linear negative relationship with delinquent behavior, whereas engaging in delinquent behavior were associated with higher appearance self. Use of SNS contributed to higher rates of both delinquent behavior and minor deviant behaviour. In particular, time spent in SNS was a very strong predictor of delinquent behaviour, and moderated the effect of appearance self-concept. Discussion of findings were enlightened by the notion of “threatened ego” and the “self-derogation theory”.

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