The following is a summary of findings from a paper that will be published soon in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. For the analyses, we used logistic and hierarchical linear regression to examine the results of a survey of 4,491 students from four universities. Here’s what we found:
Cell phone ownership
- The odds that female and White students owned cell phones were over twice as high as men and African American students.
- Students from the $100,000-$149,000/year income bracket were over three times as likely to own a cell phone than a student from the middle income bracket.
Cell phone use
- Female, African American, and students from income brackets above $150,000/year sent more text messages.
- Female, Latino, African American, and students from income brackets above $150,000/year spent more time talking on their phones.
Summary of implications
- There are significant differences in ownership and use of cell phones.
- Gender differences are congruent with previous research on the use of communication technologies.
- Effect of ethnicity could be because minority students are using cell phones to keep in touch with family and friends in order to help them adjust to majority-White universities.
You can download a pdf of the paper here: Junco, R., Merson, D. & Salter, D. W. (in press). The effect of gender, ethnicity, and income on college students’ use of communication technologies. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.