Campus visitors provide teenage viewpoint on mobile phone 'attachment'
Published on 17 August, 2011
CQUniversity Bundaberg recently hosted more than 60 Year 10 students from Bundaberg State High School, who were attending a Uni Skills Program.
During their two-day program, the students contributed to a survey by fourth-year Psychology honours student Peter Carlsen, examining the way people are attached to their mobile phones.
Attachment theory is prominent in psychology, though it's difficult to find any other empirical studies of attachment to mobile phones.
Thus, Peter has had to design his own surveys and run pilot studies to ensure they are valid before conducting the research. The study is looking at the differences in attachment to mobile phones across age and sex. Peter's hypothesis is that there will be significant differences across these variables.
The study includes people aged in their late 70s right down to the teenage school students (aged 14-15). It's expected these groups certainly use, relate to, interact with and are attached to their mobile phones in different ways.
"I was really pleased to have the Bundaberg High students involved in my research," Peter says. "The whole premise is to examine the differences in the way people of different ages are involved with their mobile phones. Obtaining some data from the younger generation who have grown up with mobile technology will be absolutely invaluable for the project.
"Hopefully the students' participation has also shown them that, aside from teaching and learning, a vast amount of research is conducted at universities, and that research is an integral part of what universities do."
The campus visitors were also engaged in hands-on science, careers and academic writing sessions, as well as a number of other activities showcasing some examples of disciplines that can be studied at university.
This program was facilitated by Annette Thompson, from the Widening Participation team and Chantal Bewick, from the Marketing Directorate.
CQUniversity's Engage Education campaign, which emanates from the Student Support Centre, stimulates interest in higher education by immersing students in educational and career activities.
"This year we are offering high schools identified as 'low-SES', 'regional and remote', and 'Indigenous' across Central Queensland at least one Engage Education program; next year we will offer two," said Stacey Doyle, Widening Participation Coordinator.
Dean of Health and Human Services Professor Andrew Bridges said it was a great opportunity for high school students to get a feel for being at university.
"On this occasion they could take part in some exciting research. It really was a win-win situation; we gathered useful data from a key age-group of participants and the students got a better understanding of what psychological research entails."