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Abstract

Teenagers are among the most prolific users of social network sites (SNS). Emerging studies find that youth spend a considerable portion of their daily life interacting through social media. Subsequently, questions and controversies emerge about the effects SNS have on adolescent development. This review outlines the theoretical frameworks researchers have used to understand adolescents and SNS. It brings together work from disparate fields that examine the relationship between SNS and social capital, privacy, youth safety, psychological well-being, and educational achievement. These research strands speak to high-profile concerns and controversies that surround youth participation in these online communities, and offer ripe areas for future research.