The impact of information and communication technology (ICT) usage on psychological well-being among urban youth

La Toya O.Neal Coleman, Timothy M. Hale, Shelia R. Cotten, Philip Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - Information and communication technology (ICT) usage is pervasive among present day youth, with about 95% of youth ages 12-17 years reporting use of the Internet. Due to the proliferation of ICT use among this generation, it is important to understand the impacts of ICT usage on well-being. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of ICT usage on psychological well-being among a sample of urban, predominately African American youth. Methodology/approach - Paper and pencil surveys were administered to fourth and fifth grade students enrolled in 27 elementary schools in the southeastern United States. Relationships between hours using various types of ICTs and the frequency of Internet activities on depression, hopelessness, self-esteem, and belonging were examined using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression. Findings - Results indicate that ICT usage has both positive and negative implications for psychological well-being, depending upon the type of ICT use and outcome being examined. Social Implications - The proliferation of ICT usage among present day youth may actually lessen its impact on psychological well-being. Since the amount of ICT usage does not seem to influence psychological well-being, future research should examine the impact of ICT content on psychological well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-291
Number of pages25
JournalSociological Studies of Children and Youth
StatePublished - 2015


  • Information and communication technology (ICT)
  • Minority youth
  • Psychological well-being
  • Urban youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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