Study Reveals Lower Income Children Use More Electronic Devices

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Children in lower-income families spend more time watching TV and using electronic devices than kids in more affluent homes, according to a survey released Thursday.

The report by the nonprofit group Common Sense Media on the viewing habits of more than 1,400 children nationwide age 8 and under found that less-affluent youngsters spend nearly three-and-a-half hours daily watching TV and using varied devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops and video game players. By comparison, kids in higher-income homes spend just under two hours on such activities. The offspring of better-educated parents also spend less time with media (1 hour, 37 minutes) compared with children of those with less education (2 hours, 50 minutes).

“Before we can begin to understand the impact of media and technology on kids and families, we have to better understand their attitudes and behaviors,” James P. Steyer, the nonprofit group’s CEO and founder, and Reveta Franklin Bowers, chair of its board, said in a preface to the report.

The survey found that Latino parents expressed the most concern about what their children are exposed to in media, including sex, violence and racial and gender stereotypes. African-American parents voiced somewhat less concern, with white parents expressing the least worry among ethnic groups.