Breaking News: Latino Families Use More Electronic Media to Learn

The National Center for Families Learning

December 09, 2013 08:00 ET

New Data Reveals Compelling Electronic Media Usage Trends Among Hispanic Families


National Center for Families Learning and Northwestern University partner, Find Hispanic Families Embrace Technology in Education



LOUISVILLE, KY–(Marketwired – Dec 9, 2013) – Today, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and the Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University release brand new data related to reading and electronic media use in Hispanic households with young children. Overall, the study reveals that Hispanic family homes see media consumption via television, computers or mobile devices as a valuable opportunity to support the learning experience outside the classroom.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Hispanic children spend an average of 14 minutes more reading per day than non-Hispanic white children, with no differences within Hispanic families based on income or education.
  • Nearly six in ten (59 percent) parents say computers have a mainly positive effect on children’s reading skills. Views about the impact of TV and mobile devices on literacy were also more positive than negative.
  • Sixty-six percent of Hispanic parents agree that their child needs to be skilled with computers and new devices like tablets to be successful in life.
  • Hispanic children whose families own mobile devices and computers use them more than non-Hispanic White children do —
    • Tablets: 11 minutes more per day
    • Computer: 13 minutes more per day
    • Smartphone: 16 minutes more per day
  • Access to mobile media is widespread for Hispanic families (72 percent own a smartphone and 33 percent a tablet), but there are still significant gaps in tablet ownership compared to non-Hispanic White families (33 v. 46 percent). If children have access, they use them more than non-Hispanic white children.

“With a deeper understanding of how Hispanic families are using their smartphones and computers, we can help advocates like teachers and programs like NCFL develop even more meaningful programs for the communities they reach,” said Ellen Wartella, director, Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University.

The survey was conducted to help educators, children’s advocates, health promoters and child development experts understand how to more effectively use electronic media like television, computers and mobile devices to improve the lives of Hispanic children.

NCFL has always understood that the diverse communities that comprise its audience face unique challenges and present varied approaches to family learning. Participating in this report, and taking a role in the formation of the Aprendiendo Juntos Councilannounced earlier this year, reinforces NCFL’s commitment to the Hispanic community and precedes additional programs to be announced in the coming months.

“Partnering with the Center on Media and Human Development was a valuable opportunity to combine our collective strengths,” said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president, NCFL. “Together, we discovered that this study reveals all families can and do want to support education… and uncovers responsive avenues to work together with families to further learning across generations.”

Methodology: The survey includes a sample of 663 Hispanic parents of children ages eight and under. The project was directed by Vicky Rideout of VJR Consulting. The survey was fielded in November-December 2012, and used GfK’s Knowledge Panel, an online probability panel recruited through random-digit-dial telephone surveys and address-based sampling. The survey covers reading and use of electronic media including television, computers, mobile devices, and video games, and was originally conducted as part of Northwestern University’s study Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology. This is the first analysis and presentation of data from the over-sample of Hispanic respondents. For the full report, please visit this link.

About the National Center for Families Learning
The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults and children learn together. NCFL creates and deploys innovative programs and strategies that support learning, literacy and family engagement in education. From the classroom to the community to the digital frontier, NCFL collaborates with educators, advocates and policy-makers to help families construct hotspots for learning wherever they go. For more information on NCFL’s 24-year track record,

About the Center on Media and Human Development
The Center on Media and Human Development is directed by Dr. Ellen Wartella within the School of Communication at Northwestern University. The Center is dedicated to scientifically studying the role of media technology over the course of human development from birth to adulthood. The primary focus of the research conducted at the center is to inform parents, educators, and policy makers regarding such topics as children’s media use, food marketing, and how human development impacts and is impacted by media technology. For more information on the Center on Media and Human Development, please visit




    Media Contact
    Luisa Montes
    SHIFT Communications for NCFL
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1 Comment
    Karina Mayne 1 year ago

    Very interesting data. Hope this source will also serve you well.

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