12/20: At What Age Should Children Have Cell Phones?

December 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Mobile Devices, Science & Tech, Tech Box

If the youngster in your life is begging you for a cell phone this holiday season, try this one on for size.  The average age Americans believe is appropriate for a child to acquire his or her first cell phone is approximately 14 years old.

©istockphoto.com/manley099

©istockphoto.com/manley099

Regardless of age, region, gender, or whether one has children or not, there is consensus on this question.

A plurality of U.S. adults — 43% — think 15 to 18 years old is the appropriate age for a child to begin carrying a cell phone.

Table: Age of First Cell Phone (Average)
Table: Age of First Cell Phone

Marist Poll Methodology

Comments

6 Responses to “12/20: At What Age Should Children Have Cell Phones?”

  1. Jada on February 21st, 2011 11:38 pm

    My 9 year old carries a pay per use phone for emergencies. It gives us peace of mind that he can reach us whenever he needs to and we don’t have a huge phone bill since it’s pay per use. On the other hand, my 14 year old has a cell phone with unlimited text and we just added her to our plan because she uses her cell phone all the time.

  2. GadgetSavy on May 16th, 2011 4:44 pm

    I think it all depends on the age we are living in. If you ask this question 10 years ago, the answer would have been “Kids can’t use cell phone”.

    But these days, the way technology is growing and the phones are becoming cheaper and cheaper and other child predators are growing as well. I think we should allow cell phones right when we start allowing our kids to have night outs at their friend’s houses.

  3. The Cell Phone Decision on October 30th, 2011 2:01 pm

    [...] At What Age Should Children Have Cell Phones? (Marist Poll, Pub 12/20/2010) [...]

  4. Being Human, 01.05.11 » Leo Burnett Blog - Leo Burnett Worldwide on March 2nd, 2012 1:10 pm

    [...] How Old For A Cellphone? A plurality of U.S. adults (43%) think 15 to 18 years old is the appropriate age for a child to begin carrying a cellphone.  Marist Poll; 12.20.10 [...]

  5. Parker Green on September 7th, 2012 6:26 pm

    Well I have a sixteen year old that learned how to use mobile bill pay from http://www.miteksystems.com/solutions/banking/mobile-photo-bill-pay. But that’s some complicated stuff but I would say around 13 – 14 years old.

  6. Southern Cell on April 7th, 2013 3:58 pm

    This is a tricky question. Kids today are definitely more tech savvy that us adults. So, five year olds could have a cell phone. I’ve also always said a phone=freedom. If you don’t know where your kids are going to be – give them a phone. If you know where they are, then don’t.

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