Valentina Boursier

The centrality of body and relationships in web-related practices in adolescence. Reflections in the intersection between clinic and research

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This paper reflects on the centrality of body and relationships in Internet use among adolescents, within a developmental perspective that considers the specificy of tasks and challenges in adolescence. In this perspective, on the one hand, Internet offers potential areas for experimentation and self-expression that may support adolescents’ process of identification and need for mirroring, weakening their involvement in interactions. On the other hand, Internet may act as a more stable shelter that keeps development process suspended, deleting the functions of thought and symbolization. Starting from clinical suggestion and briefly crossing the main themes of a still open debate on Internet addiction, some research data are discussed, thus contributing to a reflection on conditions of vulnerability and risk related to a dysfunctional social network use among young people and, particularly, on the role of online self-image


  • adolescence
  • problematic social networking sites use
  • online self-image
  • online relationships


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