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Antecedent Influences on Children's Extrinsic Motivation to Go Online


Edward T. Vieira, Department of Communications, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115-5895. E-mail:


From a social psychological process framework, this study examines how children's self-esteem influences whether their friends motivate them to go online. Children (ages 8–14; n = 293) completed an online questionnaire. Locus of control orientation is included as mediating the relationship between self-esteem and motivation. Hypotheses were tested using a structural equation model. Results reveal that children with healthy self-esteem perceive themselves as having control of their environments. This positively influences peer-related motivation to go online. Children with lower self-esteem see the world as controlled by others or as the result of luck. This external locus also positively influences peer-related motivation to go online. Girls maintained higher self-esteem, and boys were influenced by external factors.