Computer & Internet Access

Computer & Internet Access

Computer use is much more an integral part of a respondent's daily life now than it was when the NLSY97 project first began. Accordingly, questions have been added to gather details on computer and Internet access and use.

In rounds 1 through 3, gathering information about computer use was limited to the youngest respondents, who were asked only if they usually had a computer in their home in the month prior to the interview. In round 4, the universe of this question was expanded to include the entire sample. The question was eliminated in round 5.

In round 6 and rounds 11-18, respondents estimated how often they used the computer.

In rounds 7-15, respondents were asked if they had Internet access. In rounds 7 through 12, they were asked about the places where they accessed the Internet (such as home, friend's home, school, work, library, or Internet cafe). If respondents did not have Internet access, they listed other ways they had used computers (for instance, for completing a survey, using an ATM, voting in an election, typing a document, or playing video games).

In rounds 10 through 12, respondents received questions about online (and offline) socialization, including communication with friends and family, sharing photo, artwork, videos, music or stories, and meeting or dating new people. In round 12, respondents were asked whether they had ever used text messaging to communicate with friends or family.

Additionally in round 12, respondents provided additional information about computer use by indicating their participation in Internet-specific activities: sending and reading email; instant messaging, reading news/articles/blogs; playing on-line games; downloading music or video clips; researching for school or work projects; paying bills or banking; taking an online class; and getting medical, financial, or other information.

In rounds 12-18, the use of the Internet in job search was explored through two questions: which job search methods involved the use of the Internet, and whether the employer required Internet usage for the application process. For more details, see Internet and Job Searches in the Job Search section. 

In round 19, respondents were asked if they had a tablet computer and if they had a laptop or desktop computer.

In round 20, the questions focused on home internet access. Respondents were asked if they had home internet, and if so, they were asked about the type of internet service and whether they accessed the internet only on their phone or using another device.

Comparison to Other NLS Surveys: From 1994 on, NLSY79 Child and Young Adult respondents answered questions about computer access and tasks performed on the computer. NLSY79 respondents were asked about computer use starting in 2000.

Survey Instruments: The majority of these questions can be found in the Self Administered section (question names begin with YSAQ) of the NLSY97 Youth Questionnaire. For questions about how much time per week spent on computers, see the Health section (question names begin with YHEA). For questions about using the Internet for a job search, see the Employment section (question names begin with YEMP).


Main Area of Interest Computer & Internet Access
Pro-Social Activities