Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Centered Computing

Committee Chair/Advisor

Andrew Robb

Committee Member

Guo Freeman

Committee Member

Sophie Joerg

Committee Member

Larry Hodges


Social virtual reality (VR) represents the modern rendition of the metaverse, this dissertation aims to fill the research gaps while highlighting trends of youth in VR. The scientific contributions of this research include 1) expanding the current HCI understanding of the social dynamics and the interactions of teens in emerging novel online digital spaces; 2) bridging two research areas that have not been widely studied in HCI, social VR and young users in social VR; and 3) generating design implications to inform the design of future social VR platforms to better support and protect teens’ online social experiences, results which may also apply to other emerging online socio-technical spaces such as augmented reality (AR) social interactions. In summary, this work presents one of the first empirical investigations into youth, immersive technology, and broader metaverse.



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