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Spanish-Speaking Mothers Less Likely to Turn on TV
Date:2/2/2010

Kids of English-speaking Hispanic moms spend more time in front of the tube, study finds

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Young children of Hispanic mothers whose main language is Spanish watch less TV than children of Hispanic moms who speak mostly English, a U.S. study has found.

Johns Hopkins Children's Center researchers surveyed 1,332 Hispanic and white mothers with children aged 4 months to 3 years, and found that children of English-speaking Hispanic mothers watched nearly 2.5 hours of TV per day, compared to about 90 minutes for children of Spanish-speaking mothers.

The difference was especially pronounced in children older than 1 year. In this group, children in English-speaking Hispanic homes spent nearly 60 percent more time watching TV than children with Spanish-speaking mothers. This large difference wasn't evident among children younger than 1 year of age.

The study also found that children aged 1 to 2 years with English-speaking Hispanic mothers spent nearly 60 percent more time watching TV than children of the same age with white mothers. By ages 2 and 3, children of white mothers and English-speaking Hispanic mothers watched about the same amount of TV, but children of Spanish-speaking mothers spent about 30 percent less time in front of the TV.

"Our findings show that what language mom speaks is a greater predictor than ethnicity alone of how much time a young child spends in front of the TV, a nuance that public health experts should recognize if they are to succeed in reducing TV time among these children," lead investigator Dr. Darcy Thompson, a pediatrician at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, said in a news release.

The study findings are published in the February issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Children should have no more than one to two hours of cumulative exposure to TV and other media each day, including mo
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