Digital Divide in Computer Access and Use between Poor and Non-Poor Youth

Eamon, Mary Keegan
Jornal of Sociology and Social Welfare

The main objectives of this study were to examine the "digital divide" in home computer ownership and to evaluate differences in academic and non-academic computer use between poor and non-poor youth. Data from a national sample of 1,029, 10- through 14-year-old young adolescents were analyzed. Results show that poor youth were .36 times as likely to own a home computer, but equally as likely to use their home computer for academic purposes as were non-poor youth. Poor youth did not differ from non-poor youth in how often they used any computer for academic purposes, but were less likely to use any computer for non-academic purposes. Government initiatives to close the digital divide and foster computer use among poor youth are suggested.