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Understanding adolescents' unfriending on Facebook by applying an extended theory of planned behaviour

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Becoming friends on Facebook does not always guarantee long-term friendships as users have the possibility to unfriend people. This unfriending behaviour is frequently occurring and might have negative consequences for both parties. To gain insight into the factors influencing adolescents unfriending, the current study made use of an extended version of the theory of planned behaviour. To enrich the theoretical framework, we included antecedents related to adolescents friendship management on Facebook, namely their number of friends, their friendship acceptance threshold, and their degree of public communication. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 1.117 adolescents. SEM analyses indicated that both subjective norm and attitude were related to behavioural intention, which in turn was related to adolescents unfriending behaviour. Perceived behavioural control was only associated with adolescents unfriending behaviour. Regarding the additional factors, the size of adolescents friend network was positively related to their confidence in the ability to unfriend people. Adolescents friendship acceptance threshold was negatively related to their attitude, whereas adolescents degree of public communication was positively associated with their perceived behavioural control and the experienced social pressure to unfriend.
Journal: Behaviour and information technology
ISSN: 0144-929X
Volume: 38
Pages: 807 - 819
Publication year:2019
Authors from:Higher Education
Accessibility:Open