Household computer and Internet access: The digital divide in a pediatric clinic population.

Aaron E. Carroll, Frederick P. Rivara, Beth Ebel, Frederick J. Zimmerman, Dimitri A. Christakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Past studies have noted a digital divide, or inequality in computer and Internet access related to socio-economic class. This study sought to measure how many households in a pediatric primary care outpatient clinic had household access to computers and the Internet, and whether this access differed by socio-economic status or other demographic information. We conducted a phone survey of a population-based sample of parents with children ages 0 to 11 years old. Analyses assessed predictors of having home access to a computer, the Internet, and high-speed Internet service. Overall, 88.9% of all households owned a personal computer, and 81.4% of all households had Internet access. Among households with Internet access, 48.3% had high speed Internet at home. There were significant associations between home computer ownership or Internet access and parental income or education. There was no relationship these factors and high speed Internet access. Over 60% of families with annual household income of $10,000-$25,000, and nearly 70% of families with only a high-school education had Internet access at home. While income and education remain significant predictors of household computer and internet access, many patients and families at all economic levels have access, and might benefit from health promotion interventions using these modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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