Thursday, January 21, 2010

Latino and black children have highest rates of media usage -- and it shows

A new national study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, reinforced what too many Latino and black families already knew -- our children spend way too much time in front of the television, walking around with earplug cords dangling around their necks or playing games on their cell phones.


There are substantial differences in children's media use between members of various ethnic and racial groups. Black and Hispanic children consume nearly 4½ hours more media daily (13:00 of total media exposure for Hispanics, 12:59 for Blacks, and 8:36 for Whites).
Some of the largest differences are in TV viewing: Black children spend nearly 6 hours and Hispanics just under 5½ hours, compared to roughly 3½ hours a day for White youth.


The only medium where there is no significant difference between these three groups is print. Differences by race/ethnicity remain even after controlling for other factors such as age, parents' education, and single vs. two-parent homes. The racial disparity in media use has grown substantially over the past five years: for example, the gap between White and Black youth was just over two hours (2:12) in 2004, and has grown to more than four hours today (4:23).


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