An Exploration of Families Use of Information and Communications Technology: The Case of Korea and the United States Brady, John T.; Lee, Bohan; Rha, Jong-Youn;
As information and communications technology (ICT) becomes increasingly integrated into the daily lives of people around the world, it is important to know how the technology is influencing the behaviors of individuals and families. This study looked at the ecology of families as it is related to ICT and the changes to processes that occur as ICT devices and services are integrated into the family. A survey of 1084 families was conducted. Five hundred of the families were from the United States and 584 families were from Korea. Significant differences were found in the use of ICT by Korean and American families although the source of this difference was not clearly identified in this study. Three clusters of families were identified based on their use of devices and services. These were labeled as; 'The Tech Savvy', 'The Wireless Users', 'The In-betweeners', 'The Wired', and 'The Just Mobile'. 'The Tech Savvy' used the greatest variety of ICT technologies and 'The Wired' used the fewest. Other clusters fell in the middle with families seemingly using the devices which met their particular needs. Two factors related to ICT integration into the family were identified. These were related to family intimacy and family relationship maintenance. The family cluster identified as 'Tech Savvy' made significantly greater use of ICT in these relationships and 'The Wired' made the least use of ICT in these areas. The other clusters tended to be between the two ends and tended not to be significantly different from each other in their use of ICT. Finally, models for ICT use by families showed that demographics, nation of origin, types of devices and services used, and attitude and interest in ICT all had a significant impact.
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