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ERIC Number: ED467097
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Applying a Youth Psychology Lens to the Digital Divide: How Low-Income, Minority Adolescents Appropriate Home Computers To Meet Their Needs for Autonomy, Belonging, and Competence, and How This Affects Their Academic and Future Prospects.
Tsikalas, Kallen; Gross, Elisheva F.; Stock, Elisabeth
This paper proposes a new framework for examining how youth use computers and the resulting impacts on their school-related attitudes and behaviors. To characterize adolescents' computing activities, a theory is borrowed from psychologists that suggests there are three basic psychological needs that youth seek to satisfy through their activities: autonomy, belonging/relatedness, and competence. The paper demonstrates that young adolescents can and do appropriate computers to satisfy these three fundamental needs and that doing so is associated with positive school-related outcomes and preparation for future learning. Results indicate that being able to engage in computing at home is important for youth in order to realize these benefits and that low-income youth in particular have a tremendous amount to gain from home computing. Given the circumstances of poverty that surround their lives, these young people may find special refuge in home computing. Through computing, they find the means to satisfy their needs for autonomy, belonging and competence-needs that middle- and higher-income adolescents may find easier to fulfill in their safer and more supportive environments. Three figures show a conceptual map illustrating how adolescents' subjective experiences of home computing may fulfill their basic psychological needs; percentage of participants engaging in specific computing activities at least once during the three-day journal study; and percentage of participants reporting positive long-term impacts of home computing in the post-survey. Two tables provide information on adolescents' sharing around the home computer and adolescents' pride about their home computing activities. (Contains 18 references.) (Author/AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A