Pew Internet study
hosted at Elon


Teenagers' use of the Internet for communication was the topic of two focus groups conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on the Elon campus July 12-13. Additional focus groups and interviews with teenagers will be conducted in Minneapolis and Washington D.C.

A total of 24 teenagers and pre-teens, many of them the children of Elon faculty or staff members, participated in the groups. The research was supervised by Pew Internet Director Lee Rainie and coordinated by Pew research specialist Amanda Lenhart. Kelli Burns, an assistant professor in the School of Communications, served as the local coordinator for the project, recruiting teenagers and handling logistics. The focus groups were moderated by Lenhart and Burns. Elon senior Lindsay Porter also assisted with the groups.

Data gathered from the focus groups' discussions will be used to design a nationwide survey, which will be conducted later this year.

"Talking directly to teens in a focus group is a great method for understanding why and how they use the Internet for communication," Burns said. "Instant messaging is certainly a dominant tool in their lives and has changed the way they build and maintain relationships with their friends. We also learned that Web blogs, or live journals, also provide an important outlet for self-expression."

Based in Washington, D.C., the Pew Internet and American Life Project is a non-profit research organization funded by the Tides Center. Its mission to to study the social effects of the Internet. Support for the Pew Internet and American Life Project is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.



Share your news and items of interest. To contact us, e-mail:
School of Communications 
2850 Campus Box 
Elon, NC 27244-2010   (336) 278-5724 
Last Modified:  7/29/04
Copyright Elon University