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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 9 (2007) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16645

Title: Exploring Social Contextual Correlates of Computer Ownership and Frequency of Use Among Urban, Low-Income, Public Housing Adult Residents
Authors: McNeill, Lorna H
Puleo, Elaine
Bennett, Gary G
Emmons, Karen M
Keywords: Original Paper
minority groups
African American
social context
social environment
low-income population
socioeconomic position
social networks
Issue Date: 13-Dec-2007
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Lorna H McNeill, Elaine Puleo, Gary G Bennett, Karen M Emmons. Exploring Social Contextual Correlates of Computer Ownership and Frequency of Use Among Urban, Low-Income, Public Housing Adult Residents. J Med Internet Res 2007;9(4):e35 <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2007/4/e35/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2007/4/e35/ ] Background: As advances in computer access continue to be made, there is a need to better understand the challenges of increasing access for racial/ethnic minorities, particularly among those with lower incomes. Larger social contextual factors, such as social networks and neighborhood factors, may influence computer ownership and the number of places where individuals have access to computers. Objectives: We examined the associations of sociodemographic and social contextual factors with computer ownership and frequency of use among 1554 adults living in urban public housing. Methods: Bivariate associations between dependent variables (computer ownership and regular computer use) and independent variables were used to build multivariable logistic models adjusted for age and site clusters. Results: Participants (N = total weighted size of 2270) were on average 51.0 (± 21.4) years old, primarily African American or Hispanic, and earned less than US $20000 per year. More than half owned a computer, and 42% were regular computer users. Reporting computer ownership was more likely if participants lived above the poverty level (OR = 1.78, 95% CI = 1.39-2.29), completed high school (OR = 2.46, 95% CI = 1.70-3.55), were in financial hardship (OR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.06-1.81), were employed and supervised others (OR = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.08-3.46), and had multiple role responsibilities (OR = 2.18, 95% CI = 1.31-3.61). Regular computer use was more likely if participants were non-Hispanic (OR = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.30-2.91), lived above the poverty level (OR = 2.84, 95% CI = 1.90-4.24), completed high school (OR = 4.43, 95% CI = 3.04-6.46), were employed and supervised others (OR = 2.41, 95% CI = 1.37-4.22), felt safe in their neighborhood (OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.08-2.30), and had greater social network ties (OR = 3.09, 95% CI = 1.26-7.59). Conclusions: Disparities in computer ownership and use are narrowing, even among those with very low incomes; however, identifying factors that contribute to disparities in access for these groups will be necessary to ensure the efficacy of future technology-based interventions. A unique finding of our study is that it may be equally as important to consider specific social contextual factors when trying to increase access and use among low-income minorities, such as social network ties, household responsibilities, and neighborhood safety.
Description: Reviewer: Kind, Terry
Reviewer: Hargittai, Eszter
Reviewer: Cullen, Karen
URI: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.2196/jmir.9.4.e35
ISSN: 1438-8871
Rights: Lorna H McNeill, Elaine Puleo, Gary G Bennett, Karen M Emmons. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org, 13.12.2007). Except where otherwise noted, articles published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, including full bibliographic details and the URL (see "please cite as" above), and this statement is included.
Appears in Collections:Volume 9 (2007)

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