Characterization of Cell Phone Use by Students and Faculty at Boise State University

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2010

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Elaine Long


With the increase of cell phone technology and popularity, the study was designed to determine the average cell phone use among college students at Boise State University. “Cell phones are a pervasive new communication technology, especially among college students” (Aoki & Downes, 2003). In 2003, Aoki and Downes stated, “cell phone subscribers in the US have increased from 109 million in 2000 to 148.6 million in 2002… the usage of cell phones is also spreading among the younger generation.” A convenience sample of 100 participants was recruited from the Boise State University student population. Surveys were administered during October 2009. Participation was voluntary, and each participant was given the option to leave questions blank. After students agreed to participate, students were given a paper questionnaire. Students were informed that their participation was anonymous and that they would not be contacted for additional information. Once the surveys were complete, the survey administrator collected the surveys and brought it in to the group for submission and data analysis. The most common cell phone providers among Boise State college students included Verizon with 41%, 30% with Sprint and 17% with AT&T. The top four features that were used by the majority of Boise State students included: alarm clock, calculator, camera, and calendar. The results showed that 53% of the participants paid for their cell phone on their own. Forty one percent of the participants were on their parents’ cell phone plan and their bill was paid for by their parents. Six percent of the participants responded that someone other than their parent or self pays for their cell phone bill. This study was reviewed and approved by the Boise State University Human Subjects Research and Institutional Review Board # EX 193-10-022.

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