Internet attitudes and internet use: Some surprising findings from the HomeNetToo project

Linda A. Jackson, Alexander Von Eye, Gretchen Barbatsis, Frank Biocca, Yong Zhao, Hiram E. Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


HomeNetToo is a longitudinal field study to examine the antecedents and consequences of home Internet use in low-income families. Among the antecedents considered are attitudes about the Internet and their ability to predict Internet use. Participants in the project were 117 adults who completed attitude measures at pre-trial, 3 months, 9 months and post-trial (16 months) and had their Internet use automatically recorded. Ethnographic accounts of their experiences with the Internet were also obtained. Findings indicate that attitudes about privacy and reliability of information on the Internet predict Internet use, but not as expected. Participants who believed less in privacy and reliability of information used the Internet more, even after the contributions of demographic characteristics (race and age), pre-trial experience using the Internet, and actual Internet use during the preceding time period were considered. Attitudes about the potential harm to children and health from Internet use predicted less use. Implications for efforts to reduce the digital divide, the importance of gathering both quantitative and qualitative data, and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-382
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Digital divide
  • Internet attitudes
  • Internet use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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