Cell Phone Use among Homeless Youth: Potential for New Health Interventions and Research
- 920 Downloads
Cell phone use has become nearly ubiquitous among adolescents in the United States. Despite the potential for cell phones to facilitate intervention, research, and care for homeless youth, no data exists to date on cell phone use among this population. In 2009, a survey of cell phone use was conducted among a non-probability sample of 169 homeless youth in Los Angeles, CA. Levels of ownership and use, instrumental uses (connecting to case workers, employers) and patterns of connecting to various network types were assessed (family, home-based peers, street-based peers). Differences in socio-demographic characteristics and cell phone ownership were assessed via t test and chi-square statistics. Sixty-two percent of homeless youth own a cell phone; 40% have a working phone. Seventeen percent used their phone to call a case manager, 36% to call either a potential or current employer. Fifty-one percent of youth connected with home-based peers on the phone and 41% connected to parents. Cell phones present new opportunities for intervention research, connecting homeless youth to family and home-based peers who can be sources of social support in times of need. Moreover, cell phones provide researchers and providers with new avenues to maintain connections with these highly transient youth.
KeywordsMobile phone Cell phone Social media Adolescents Homeless Social network
- 3.Whitbeck LB, Hoyt DR. Nowhere to Grow: Homeless and Runaway Adolescents and Their Families. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter; 1999.Google Scholar
- 7.Rice E, Monro W, Barman-Adhikari A, et al. Internet use, social networking, and homeless adolescents’ HIV/AIDS risk. J Adolesc Health. 2010; 47:610–613.Google Scholar
- 8.Lenhart, A. Teens and mobile phones over the past 5 years: pew Internet looks back | Pew Internet & American Life Project. Pew Resea Cen Int & Am Life Proj. 2009. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/14–Teens-and-Mobile-Phones-Data-Memo.aspx?r=1 Accessed August 23, 2010.
- 11.Pearson JC, Carmon A, Tobola C, et al. Motives for communication: why the millennial generation uses electronic devices. J Comm Spe Thea Ass N D. 2009; 22.Google Scholar
- 12.Thulin E, Vilhelmson B. Mobiles everywhere: youth, the mobile phone, and changes in everyday practices. J You Res. 2007; 2007: 15.Google Scholar
- 17.Grunbaum JA, Kann L, Kinchen S, Ross J, Hawkins J, Lowry R, Harris WA, McManus T, Chyen D, Collins J. Youth risk behavior surveillance--United States, 2003. MMWR. Surveillance Summaries: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Surveillance Summaries/CDC 2004; 53(2): 1–96. http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/index.htm Accessed May 10th, 2010.
- 19.Beck AT, Steer RA, Brown GK. Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation; 1996.Google Scholar
- 20.Beck AT, Epstein N, Brown G, Steer RA. An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety: psychometric properties. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1989; 56(6): 893–89.Google Scholar