February 3, 2010

Social Media and Young Adults

Acknowledgements and Methodology

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the University of Michigan and our research colleagues Scott Campbell of Michigan and Rich Ling of ITU in Copenhagen, Denmark for their work on this project.

Methodology

For the 2009 teens data mentioned in this report, the bulk of the data comes from the 2009 Parent-Teen Cell Phone Survey, sponsored by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The survey obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 800 teens age 12 to 17 years-old and their parents living in the continental United States. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source, LLC from June 26 to September 24, 2009. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies.  The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ±3.8%. For methodological information on teens data collected prior to 2009, please visit the data set page for each study at http://www.pewinternet.org/Data-Tools/Download-Data/Data-Sets.aspx 

The adult data in this report is based on the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans’ use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between August 18 to September 14, 2009, among a sample of 2,253 adults, age 18 and older.  Interviews were conducted in both English (n=2,179) and Spanish (n=74).  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.  For results based Internet users (n=1,698), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.  In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting telephone surveys may introduce some error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

A few of the adult data points in this study (where noted) are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between November 30 and December 27, 2009, among a sample of 2,258 adults, age 18 and older.  Interviews were conducted in both English (n=2,197) and Spanish (n=61).  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.  For results based Internet users (n=1,676), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. 

For methodological information for adult data collected prior to September 2009, please visit the data set page for each study at http://www.pewinternet.org/Data-Tools/Download-Data/Data-Sets.aspx.

Details on the design, execution and analysis of the survey are discussed in the PDF version of this report (you can download the methodology as a separate PDF here.)