Study: Minorities bigger media consumers

June 8, 2011 at 5:57 PM
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EVANSTON, Ill., June 8 (UPI) -- Minorities ages 8 to 18 consume an average of 13 hours of media content a day, much more than their white counterparts, U.S. researchers say.

In the first national study to focus exclusively on children's media use by race and ethnicity, researchers at Northwestern University found minority children spend an average 4 1/2 more hours a day consuming media.

"In the past decade, the gap between minority and white youth's daily media use has doubled for blacks and quadrupled for Hispanics," said Ellen Wartella, who directed the study and heads the Center on Media and Human Development in the School of Communication.

"The big question is what these disparities mean for our children's health and education."

The study found minority children spend 1 to 2 additional hours each day watching TV and videos, approximately an hour more listening to music, up to an hour and a half more on computers, and 30 to 40 minutes more playing video games than their white counterparts, a Northwestern release said Wednesday.

"Our study is not meant to blame parents," says Wartella. "We hope to help parents, educators and policymakers better understand how children's media use may influence health and educational disparities."

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