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Web sites typically have text, letting kids practice reading.
Web sites don't usually involve math, and math scores didn't change in the study.
The kids with the greatest home Internet use had higher grade-point averages and reading test scores at six months, one year, and 16 months of home access. That is, the kids with the highest grades and reading scores before the study didn't use the Internet more than other children, Jackson's team writes.
The kids used the Internet for an average of 30 minutes daily, mainly surfing the web.
"The Internet is an invaluable tool for adolescents who use it to look for answers to personal, sensitive, and embarrassing questions about their bodies, relationships, and health," write Borzekowski and colleagues.
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Those message boards may have provided "essential social support for otherwise isolated adolescents," write Whitlock and colleagues.
The chat rooms were designed as places for teens to hang out, without specific topics.
Subrahmanyam works at California State University and is also associated with the Children's Digital Media Center at UCLA.
He studied 322 elementary and middle-school kids in New England.
The students answered questions about the Internet's technical and social complexity, including: In terms of understanding the Internet, kids' age was more important than gender, history of Internet use, frequency of Internet use, and participation in informal classes, Yan found.