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Title: Do friendship and intimacy in virtual communications exist? An investigation of online friendship and intimacy in the context of hidden youth in Hong Kong
Author(s): Lo, Tit Wing 
Chan, Gloria Hong Yee 
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Expert Projects Publishing
Journal: Revista de Cercetare si Interventie Sociala 
Volume: 47
Start page: 117
End page: 136
This study uses “hidden youth” in Hong Kong as an example to investigate whether online friendship and virtual intimacy are present because these young people are commonly viewed as “socially isolated” and “lacking in social skills” but actually involve in extended Internet use to engage in social interactions. Using the data from 357 hidden youth participants, a paired t-test was performed to look for the significant differences in friendship quality and intimacy between online and offline interactions in different levels of friendship. Results show that the friendship quality of offline relationships is generally slightly higher than that of online relationships, while online friendships display a generally higher intimacy level than the offline relationships. This reflects the fact that friendship and intimacy can be developed in the virtual platform and are similar to the traditional interpersonal relationships.
CIHE Affiliated Publication: No
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