The IRL investigates social relationships and mental health in adolescence and young adulthood. We use technology as a window into these interactions.
Text Message Content as a Window into Youth Alcohol, Substance Use, and Mental Health
There is a wealth of information in text-based big data, but our ability to understand the contents is limited by existing tools. This projects seek to leverage the information in private messages to better understand young adult risk contexts. Our LIWC dictionary of "Alcohol Talk" is a newly-developed quantitative tool that gets at alcohol-related language and is predictive of same day drinking behaviors.
Emerging Adulthood Study
Young people today are navigating the transition from adolescence to adulthood in a digital age, which presents unique opportunities and potential risks. This project, in collaboration with Melissa Lippold at UNC Chapel Hill examines how young people and their parents navigate the potentially stressful period.
We have recently completed a mixed-methods project, consisting of focus groups, text message analysis, and quantitative survey data, which explores the ways in which families use modern communication technologies to maintain ties to culture and engage in Racial/Ethnic Socialization (RES).