Scholarly article on topic 'Framework of ICT Impact on Adolescent'

Framework of ICT Impact on Adolescent Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Procedia Technology
OECD Field of science
{"Impact study" / "ICT usage" / teenager}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Hairulliza Mohamad Judi, Noraidah Sahari@ Ashaari, Nor Azan Mat Zin, Zawiyah M. Yusof

Abstract This paper reports the initial stage of a community study to understand the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) usage among adolescent in Malaysia. As in other parts of the world, Malaysian adolescent spend more time on ICT applications than adults and engaged in various forms of electronic communication. Positive impact of ICT on Malaysian education and the young generation are expected and have been established, but the negative impact of ICT is an issue yet to be explored, discovered and managed. This paper aims to review positive and negative impact of ICT usage and their controlling factors, and to propose a framework of ICT impact on adolescent. The framework will be used as the basis for the next stage, empirical study involving adolescent in a case study of Mukim Bukit Serampang.

Academic research paper on topic "Framework of ICT Impact on Adolescent"

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Procedia Technology 11 (2013) 1034- 1040

The 4th International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Informatics (2013)

Framework of ICT Impact on Adolescent

Hairulliza Mohamad Judi*, Noraidah Sahari@ Ashaari, Nor Azan Mat Zin,

Zawiyah M. Yusof

Centre of Information Technology, Faculty of Information Sciences and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


This paper reports the initial stage of a community study to understand the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) usage among adolescent in Malaysia. As in other parts of the world, Malaysian adolescent spend more time on ICT applications than adults and engaged in various forms of electronic communication. Positive impact of ICT on Malaysian education and the young generation are expected and have been established, but the negative impact of ICT is an issue yet to be explored, discovered and managed. This paper aims to review positive and negative impact of ICT usage and their controlling factors, and to propose a framework of ICT impact on adolescent. The framework will be used as the basis for the next stage, empirical study involving adolescent in a case study of Mukim Bukit Serampang.

© 2013 The Authors. PublishedbyElsevierLtd.

Selection and peer-reviewunder responsibility ofthe FacultyoflnformationScience &Technology,UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia.

Keywords: Impact study; ICT usage; teenager

1. Introduction

Adolescent is a transition period from childhood innocence and ignorance into independence and social acceptance. This is hugely assumed as freedom and separation from parents and adults, which leads to information and communication technology (ICT) usage as a natural source of impersonal answers and information [1]. The cry for personal relationships at this stage is especially important where ICT as a medium provide wide range of interaction with a variety of people and groups at varying degrees of social and emotional support.

ICT applications especially the use of Internet becomes naturally justified in human life. ICT encompasses wide variety of devices and applications that serve to ease and enhance efficiency in daily activities. Any sort of

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +060389326653; fax: +060389256732. E-mail address:

2212-0173 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Faculty of Information Science & Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. doi:10.1016/j.protcy.2013.12.291

information and communication appliances, hardware and software such as smart phones, computers, radio, TV, and variety of applications, such as gaming, social networking, instant messaging, and texting could involve ICT. Compared to other age groups, adolescent is the largest consumer of this technology. They spend more time online than adults and surpass all other age groups in their use of chat, instant messaging and other new forms of electronic communication [2].

Malaysians are among leading ICT users in the region. Internet World Statistics (2012) reported that out of 29.2 million Malaysian total population, 60.7 percent are internet users (17.7 millions) [3]. This figure is very much higher when compared to the neighboring countries such as Philippines (32.4%), Thailand (30%), Vietnam (33.9%), and Indonesia (22.1%). The increase of internet users in Malaysia could be associated with the improved ICT infrastructures provided by government [4]. Various ICT related projects aiming towards improving life of every citizen have been implemented by the government with support from private sectors as well as government linked organizations. Towards this end, selected rural households were given free notebooks and internet centers were set up. However, questions need to asked; has Internet usage benefited the society? Has quality of life of every citizen improved with access to more information, services and content over the Internet? These questions need to be explored further by studying the impact of the technology on Malaysian society, particularly the adolescents.

1.1. Problem statement and objectives

More concern has been raised to assess and monitor the efficiency of ICT use and its impact on education in developing countries [5]. Even though various studies have reported positive impact of ICT on education (such as [6]), more information is required regarding the negative impact of ICT. This is especially true in Malaysia where there are few theories and data to be used to understand and guide more focused research on the overall impact of ICT that addresses adolescent [7]. Various government projects that provide ICT infrastructure and tools have targeted school children. The effort of the government in providing ICT facilities has resulted in somewhat unpleasant repercussion especially among the adolescents. In certain rural areas such as Felda Sri Jaya and Ledang in Mukim Bukit Serampang, Johor, free note books were disbursed to students from low income families. Recently, some parents have reported noticeable and worrying trends in their adolescent's behavior as a result of ICT usage. Teachers have also voiced similar concerns. Is this trend due to Internet usage? Are they all negative issues? What type of information or content are popular among these adolescents? How can these concerns be addressed so that ICT bring positive impacts and better quality of life to all concerned? Therefore this research is carried out to answer these questions and obtain some insight on the impact of ICT to adolescents, starting within depth literature study on the issue. The objectives of this paper are two-folds: to review both the positive and negative impact of ICT usage and the controlling factors of the impact, and to propose a framework of ICT impact on adolescent. This framework will guide the proposed empirical study.

2. Literature review

ICT is used extensively among youth for various reasons. The obvious purpose of ICT on young generation would be on enhancing learning. Adolescent who have positive attitude towards ICT, are more likely to use them to facilitate learning [8]. The study also had shown that these students would likely to find that ICT helps them in their learning. Furthermore, the students feel that appropriate use of ICTs would have a positive impact on their learning habits, and can help them improve their academic performance.

ICT has been widely used as a medium for communicating and networking. ICT and Internet usage could be one potential problem to adolescent's school life. Research on internet abuse among adolescent and its relations to some Internet usage patterns and demographic characteristics in Turkey has been conducted [9]. Data from 1380 high school students gained through questionnaire shows that a small portion of students become Internet abusers and experiencing severe problems. Moreover, one fourth were identified as possible abusers and experiencing occasional problems in their lives.

The analyzed survey data of 361 high school students show that students are more reliant on the Internet to access information involved in school life as well as entertainment [10]. Moreover, adolescent tend to manage their social capital through the Internet. This tool is also used to overcome social difficulties in teaching and learning

environment. Social network site such as Facebook may help students with social emotional and behavioural difficulties, especially those of high school age [11]. Survey results suggest that Facebook has become of extreme importance for these students in their adaptation to school and their management of peer relations. Using this social network platform, they show complex patterns of modification of self-image and dynamic involvement with peers.

In Malaysian context, a number of researchers explore the same issues from various perspectives. For example, a study that investigates the extent of broadcasting media technology including Internet influence in the formation of adolescent behaviour among Malay was carried out [12]. A survey on 1530 Malay students shows that the influence of media in the formation of adolescent behaviour is at the medium level. Five factors were investigated that may give influence on students' behaviour: teachers, media, family, friends and school culture. Findings indicated that the highest contribution to the moral appreciation of the students comes from friend (30.4%), followed closely by school (30.3%), then family (28.3%), media (25.0%) and teachers (19.8%). Even though each factor seems to play equal role in shaping youth behaviour, friends and media factors negatively influence adolescent behaviour. This calls for caution on the danger of unlimited access to media and influence from peers that may stimulate major changes in a society if not monitored wisely [13]. Apart from the learning experience, the process of human moral development is influenced by parents, teachers, peers, society and the various types of media that a person is exposed to while growing up [14].

Social networking sites have increasingly become an important tool for young adults to interact and socialize with their peers. A nationwide survey on tertiary level students in Malaysia to harness ICT's potential for use in education was conducted by [7]. Though these sites are popular among the youths, the results show that the application is not fully penetrated as initially assumed. The most popular usage of this application is for social networking and learning. The respondents reported spending more time on social network for socializing rather than learning and do not believe the use of short message service (SMS) is affecting their academic performance.

3. Negative and positive aspects of ICT usage, and controlling factors

ICT is used extensively among youth for various reasons. The obvious purpose of ICT on young generation would be for enhancing learning. Students could use appropriate ICT tools to facilitate learning and to help them improve their academic performance [8].

Researchers have discussed negative and positive aspects of ICT usage among adolescent. The dark sides of internet and how curriculum can address the issue have been discussed by[15]. The identified aspects revolve around seven themes: internet addiction, bad influence from online correspondence, bad influence through illegal, immoral, criminal and other inappropriate contents, lack of face-to-face social interaction, facilitation of deception, plagiarism, and budding hackers. The suggested solutions for the system to respond to the social and ethical problem brought by the internet involves various strategies including involvement of government and society in helping education system tackling the issues, raising the awareness of internet risks to adolescent by incorporating them in school syllabus and emphasizing significant roles that parents can play in handling these social problems.

In similar concern, both positive and negative aspects of adolescent's online behavior have been examined [16]. The risks and opportunities were discussed in general themes of addiction and harassment, enhancing learning and social relations together with delivering health interventions, respectively. The items that measure Internet usage impact on adolescent's behavior were explored by [1]. The results revealed two important factors: self-detachment and usage that may describe the impact of Internet usage among this group.

From the literature examined, this study summarises the impact of ICT usage on adolescent as shown in Table 1. In Table 2, the moderating and controlling factors that may address the problem are listed. These characteristics serve as proactive action for the relevant member of society to play their role particularly adolescent themselves to minimize the risk and anticipate the problems in more ready manner. In Table 3, the demographic factors that might contribute to ICT usage impact are listed.

Table 1. Impact of ICT usage




ICT Addiction

Bad influence from online interaction

Illegal, immoral

Self detachment


Gain knowledge and skills

Better social skills Be empowered

Excessive internet use, internet to escape from negative feelings, continued use of the Internet despite the desire to stop, experience of unpleasant emotions when Internet use is impossible, thinking about the Internet constantly, and the experience of any other conflicts or self-conflicts due to Internet use [9][15-23].

Exposed to destructive ideas through online communication, chance for befriending wrong people, joining wrong social group, risking physical and psychology development, exposure of groups with criminal behaviour, exposure of negative influences leads to aggressive behaviour and ethical misconduct, the anonymity concept widely used in online communication has promoted deceptions to the point that it creates an atmosphere of deficient in trust [15] [19] [24]. Being such an open and hard to control system, it is easy for anybody including youngsters to access these materials, dissemination of pornography, hate speech, defamatory statements and exposure of online harassment, cyber bullying. Internet contents take over the function of reading materials, thus reducing teenage interest in reading. High entertainment content bring negative impact on Islamic values and ethics,[12][16] [25].

Internet usage may create socially isolated, environment thus endangering the quality and quantity of their interpersonal relationships, negative impact on health and social lives, online communication is seen as detrimental to social skill development, refuse face to face interaction, demands a level of complexity and care in communicative approach [1] [15].

ICT facilitate information access, enhance study/reading habits, accelerate academic success by making information easily available, improve managerial and professional skill, increased students' motivation to stay on-task and drive them to behave better and produce high quality work; learn more independently and did more works at a fast pace [6] [8] [26].

A small-scale experimental design study found that Internet use was associated with decreased loneliness and depression and increased self-esteem and social support [20] [27].

ICT empower individual to be motivated particularly those in disadvantaged circumstances, using the Internet to reinforce offline relationships and to communicate, use online forums to gain positive feelings of mastery and competence, Internet can be used to complement traditional methods of delivering treatment interventions, promote cognitive, social, and physical development [16] [28]._

Table 2. Moderating factors concerning ICT negative impact



Avoid risky behaviours Attached to family and friends Self-regulation

Parent control, upbringing and environment

Be carefUl in online interaction, limit the willingness to respond to online strangers [16][29].

Engaged to internet activity within the knowledge of family members or friend may limit the risk [16] [20] [30].

Develop emotional intelligence to control Internet use; Internet is not the right way to relieve boredom, decrease loneliness, whittle away time, and enhance their social identity. [10] [16] [30-32].

Parents' responsibilities to protect their children from the Internet's harmful possibilities. Parents and responsible authority should ensure the continuity of sustainable development of human capital which consists of ethics and high morale [12] [15] [33-35]._

Table 3. Demographic factors



Adolescent background and ICT use


Gender, perceived academic achievement, frequency of ICT use, place of ICT use and purpose for ICT use are important factors. Results on ANOVA tests revealed that ICT abuse differed significantly based on gender and perceived academic achievement with small effect sizes, and frequency of ICT use, dominant place of ICT use and dominant purpose for ICT use with medium and large effect sizes. The purpose that people use ICT for, was given emphasis in the second level of the digital divide and ICT literacy and is expected to become a pressing matter in the future [9] [36-37].

socio-economic attributes of students in a school tend to influence students' Internet use time and Internet use proficiency [38]._

4. ICT usage impact framework

This research proposes a framework that indicates the relationship between important factors identified in the study as discussed in previous sections. Figure 1 presents the framework. The important factors in the framework include demography factor, ICT usage pattern, negative impact of ICT, controlling factors and positive impact of ICT. The framework suggests that with proper actions taken by adolescent and their parents, they may enjoy the benefit of ICT. On the other hand, without control and limitation, the young generation would be highly exposing themselves to the risk.

5. Conclusion

Many researchers have emphasized the social impacts of the use of ICT on adolescent well-being, but the specific pathways through which technology use may cause these impacts especially in the local contact is still scarce. Researchers need to become better at investigating the social impacts of ICT usage, to better understand the controlling factors and thus propose mitigating approaches to ensure better quality of life for young generation. At this initial stage, various aspects and factors were identified as playing their roles on ICT impact, and their relationships are proposed in the framework. This will be complemented by empirical study to examine the relationship and to explain the contributing factors to the problem.

Future research planning involves ICT impact survey on a sample of adolescent and interview with parents regarding this issue in Bukit Serampang area. The samples are recipients of notebooks under the "One Computer Per Family" program, implemented two years ago in October 2011. The government had distributed 500 netbooks to selected students, so that each family in the community would have at least one computer. In addition, internet facilities are also provided by the government in the community internet centres. Therefore, the proposed framework will be used as a guideline to develop questionnaire items for survey and interview schedule.

Fig. 1. ICT usage impact framework


The authors would like to acknowledge the support from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia through the Mukim Bukit Serampang Community Management Portal and ICT Literacy Programme for Mukim Bukit Serampamg Community project (KOMUNITI-2012-030).


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