In their words: Connecting on-line weblogs to developmental processes


Correspondence should be addressed to Professor Kaveri Subrahmanyam, Department of Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles, CA 90032, USA (e-mail:


This paper seeks to connect adolescents' communication within on-line weblogs or blogs to developmental processes. A total of 195 English language blogs written by self-identified 14- to 18-year-olds were selected; three entries from each blog were analysed, resulting in a sample of 585 entries. Blogger demographics, self-presentation, and blog entries (format, style, content, and tone) were coded. The blog authors in our sample were overwhelmingly female and lived within the US; the majority were between 15- and 16-years of age. Bloggers utilized usernames and userpictures for self-presentation and in addition to gender, frequently presented information about their age and location. The majority of the entries used text, were narrative and reflective in style, and contained themes related to their authors' peers and everyday life. Emotional tone was present and entries with romantic, identity, and future-related themes often contained emotional tone. Blog authors seemed to be using blogs to create narratives and to reflect about the people and events in their lives. Our results show that adolescent bloggers project off-line themes to their blogs, suggesting that their on-line and off-line contexts are psychologically connected.