The Mobile Generation: Youth and Adolescent Ownership and Use of New Media

Alexis R. Lauricella*, Drew P. Cingel, Courtney Blackwell, Ellen Wartella, Annie Conway

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The relatively recent invention of mobile tablets has changed the way children and adolescents use media technologies. Given that children and adolescents differ developmentally, we use Uses and Gratifications theory to explore ownership of mobile devices by young people and how children and adolescents use newer media technologies, including the Internet and mobile devices. Results from a national study of 909 children and adolescents, 8 to 17 years old, demonstrate that even younger children are avid users of new mobile devices, although ownership and use of mobile phones and tablets increases with age. Further, Internet use varies as a function of age, suggesting that children and adolescents may have different interests in and motivations to use new media technology, which play a role in their media use behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-364
Number of pages8
JournalCommunication Research Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Internet
  • Media Use
  • Mobile Technology
  • Tablets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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