Yau is a postdoctoral scholar research associate at USC’s Department of Psychology. Her research interests include media psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, and child and adolescent development. For her doctoral work, she specialized in Human Development in Contest (HDiC).
Reich’s research foci include socio-emotional development, parent-child interactions, peer networks, and social affordances of technology. The bulk of her work explores direct and indirect influences on the child, specifically through the family, online, and school environment. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Community Research and Action. At UCI, Reich is director of the Development in Social Context Lab (DISC) and serves as the associate director of the Ph.D. in Education program. She holds additional appointments in Psychological Science and Informatics.
Abstract of Chapter 2
Youth are increasingly using digital technology to connect with their peers. As such, there are overlaps between the people youth interact with face-to-face and those they interact with digitally. The emergence of social network sites, online gaming, social media apps (i.e., applications), and text messaging over the past two decades has evolved from separate areas where adolescents went to develop new relationships, try out new relationships, or maintain relationships with friends or family who live far away to a clear extension of their offline world. Nowadays, adolescents use digital platforms to develop and maintain relationships with friends and people they regularly interact with offline or with people who are only one or two degrees of separation from face-to-face friends (e.g., a friend of a friend). Although there are a few exceptions (e.g., online games), this connectivity between offline and digital spaces has led researchers to change how we conceptualize and study digital friendships over time. This chapter begins with a historical orientation of how youths’ friendships were characterized as offline and online and the ways in which the research has evolved to consider digital spaces as another setting where friends interact. We then explore new and potential directions for future research that focus on friendships that occur in the physical world as well as through a variety of digitally mediated spaces.