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Title: Family socioeconomic status and children's screen time
Abstract Objective

This mixed‐methods study examined whether higher‐socioeconomic status (SES) children's digital technology use adhered to contemporaneous pediatric guidelines, how it compared to lower‐SES children, and why, as analyses showed, higher‐SES children's technology use far exceeded pediatric recommendations.

Background

2013 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines recommended limited “screen time” for children. Higher SES families tend to follow guidelines, but digital technology use—simultaneously a health behavior and a pathway for building human capital—has complex implications.

Method

Quantitative analyses provide new nationally representative estimates of the relationship between social class and 9‐ to 13‐year‐old children's technology time (including television), device access, and parenting rules (2014 PSID Child Development Supplement,N = 427). Qualitative analyses of 77 longitudinal higher‐SES parent interviews articulated explanatory processes.

Results

Higher‐SES children used technology as frequently as others and in excess of recommendations. Their device access, activities, and agency in adhering to rules, however, differed from others. Qualitative analysis uncovered processes that helped explain these findings: parents' ambivalence about technology and perception that expert guidance is absent or unrealistic, and children's exercise of agency to use technology facilitated by “concerted cultivation” parenting styles, led to higher‐SES individualistic parenting practices that supported children's increased non‐television technology use.

Conclusion

Cultures and structures related to children's technology use are in flux, and classed norms and understandings are emerging to construct relevant class‐based distinctions around parenting.

 
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Award ID(s):
2042875
NSF-PAR ID:
10446993
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley-Blackwell
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume:
84
Issue:
4
ISSN:
0022-2445
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 1129-1151
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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