Electronic media communication with friends from 2002 to 2006 and links to face-to-face contacts in adolescence: an HBSC study in 31 European and North American countries and regions Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:Because the potential for electronic media communication (EMC) has increased greatly, it is of interest to describe trends in EMC between adolescents and their friends and to investigate whether EMC facilitate or supersede face-to-face contacts among peers. METHODS:Answers of 275,571 adolescents concerning contacting friends by means of the phone, text messages, and the internet (i. e. EMC), the number of close friends, and the number of afternoons and evenings per week spent out with friends were analysed by means of chi(2)-tests and multiple regression. RESULTS:In 2006, between more than one third (11-year olds) and nearly two thirds (15-year olds) communicated electronically with their friends daily or nearly daily. From 2002 to 2006, EMC increased in almost all participating countries. Particularly high increases were found in Eastern Europe. Across countries, the higher the frequency of EMC the higher the number of afternoons and evenings spent with friends. CONCLUSION:The results are surprisingly consistent across the 31 countries and suggest that EMC among adolescents facilitate rather than supersede face-to-face peer contacts.


  • Kuntsche, Emmanuel
  • Simons-Morton, Bruce
  • ter Bogt, Tom
  • Queija, Inmaculada Sánchez
  • Tinoco, Victoria Muñoz
  • Gaspar de Matos, Margarida
  • Santinello, Massimo
  • Lenzi, Michela

publication date

  • September 2009