Date of Paper

5-2016

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Jessica Toft

Department/School

Master of Social Work

Abstract

As many as 1 in 10 Americans utilize an online dating service. A sizable percentage of these users are young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, Because this social phenomenon is relatively new, little research has been conducted to examine the impact that online dating has on youth culture. The purpose of this study is to explore young people’s expectations and realities of online dating and mobile applications, whether they deem their experiences as positive or negative, to examine young people’s experiences of deception and discrimination by others and to gauge the extent that their relational styles are shaped by their usage. To answer these questions, the researcher created an anonymous online survey based in attachment theory, social constructionism, and consumer culture theory. The survey was completed by 60 young adult participants recruited via social media. The findings of this survey indicate that: young adults do use online dating and they do so for may reasons; many believe they are discriminated against based on their appearance; many believe they have been lied to but few perceive themselves as lying; and overall, most perceive online dating as positive and a normal thing to do. Furture research should be qualitative in nature to more thoroughly examine young people’s experiences with online dating.

Included in

Social Work Commons

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