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Abstract

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.

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