Peer groups are important for the development of teenagers' identities and values. More and more teenagers are finding a peer group online via social-networking communities and new research suggests that they may feel as much, if not more, loyalty to them than to their real-world communities. A team of Finnish researchers surveyed 4,299 teenagers in the U.K., Spain and Japan who were members of the social-networking site Habbo. The researchers found that the teenagers identified more strongly with their fellow users than their neighbourhood or hobby groups. In Spain the online groups were more likely to be made up of strangers while in Japan the participants were more likely to know their online friends in the real world as well.
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