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Teens and Mobile Phones

Teens and Mobile Phones

Written by Erin Wilkey Oh
October 29, 2010

A Pew Internet and American Life Project report released April 20, 2010 provides data on how young people are using cell phones. Teens and Mobile Phones is based on a 2009 survey of 800 youth ages 12-17 and their parents. 

The Findings in Brief

  • Text messaging is the preferred method of communication between teens and their friends.
  • Calling with a cell phone is the preferred method of communication between teens and their parents. 
  • Girls use their cell phones for text messaging and calling their friends more than boys do.
  • Though most schools ban cell phones, teens continue to text in class.
  • Generally, parental regulation does not impact the patterns of teen cell phone use.
  • Teens from low-income households are more likely to use a cell phone to go online than other teens.
  • Both teens and parents note conflicts related to cell phone use and regulation.
  • One-third of teens ages 16-17 have texted while driving.
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