From this I found a link to the papers from the Children's Digital Media Center at UCLA, for the academic reports behind the news.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Developing your alter-ego online
I spotted this in a strange place, but Computer Shopper report that "psychologists have carried out studies that suggest that people are using social networking websites to develop an alternate identity, and are gradually growing into the personas they create. They explained that social networking sites are beginning to serve as a self-development tool for young people discovering their own identities."