Date of Award

Spring April 2015

Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Paige Asawa


Adolescence is a time of maturation, integration of selves, and, in the modern age, digital performance on social media. Conflicts in the identity vs. role confusion stage of Eriksonian development are addressed throughout this research, although the existing literature rarely connects them to online trends. A qualitative survey, sent to high school students, explores the tension between self-doubt and the desire to be seen. Responses indicate that teens who post on social media are attempting to make sense of their formative years via the reactions of this networked world. Certain participants show resistance to the phenomenon of the Selfie, implying that some adolescents may view it as merely a passing fad. Participants’ contradictory attitudes concerning social media and the Selfie reflect the four most recurrent themes: duality, insecurity, freedom of expression, and the communication gap between adolescents and adults.