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Race, Parental Socioeconomic Status, and Computer Use Time Outside of School Among Young American Children, 1997 to 2003

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Ono, Hiromi, and H.J. Tsai. 2008. "Race, Parental Socioeconomic Status, and Computer Use Time Outside of School Among Young American Children, 1997 to 2003." Journal of Family Issues, 29(12): 1650-1672.

This article investigates the role that parental socioeconomic status plays in forming the racial gap in home computer use among young school-age children. Descriptive statistics from time diary data of 6- to 11-year-olds in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Child Development Supplement, reveal that Black American children spend substantially fewer minutes on the computer than do non-Hispanic White children; however, the racial gap in percentage terms has narrowed between 1997 and 2003. Multivariate analyses indicate that the extent to which parental socioeconomic status explains the racial gap declined between 1997 and 2003-in 2003, less than 10% of the gap is explained by family income and household head's education. The pattern of decline is not observed when analyzing the racial gap in reading time. As home computer ownership approaches saturation, the racial gap in computer use time may increasingly reflect the underlying racial boundaries rather than parental status differentials.

DOI:10.1177/0192513x08321150 (Full Text)

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