Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America

A Common Sense Research Study
October 25, 2011

Media use varies significantly by race and socio-economic status, but not much by gender.

RACE AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS. African- American children spend an average of 4:27 a day with media (including music, reading, and screen media), compared to 2:51 among white children and 3:28 among Hispanics. Children from higher- income families or with more highly educated parents spend less time with media than other children do (for example, 2:47 a day among higher-income children vs. 3:34 among lower-income youth). Twenty percent of children in upper income homes have a TV in their bedroom, compared to 64% of those from lower- income homes.

GENDER. The only substantial difference between boys’ and girls’ media use is in console video games. Boys are more likely to have ever played a console video game than girls are (56% vs. 46%), to have a video game player in their bedroom (14% vs. 7%), and to play console video games every day (14% vs. 5%). Boys average :16 a day playing console games, compared to an average of :04 a day for girls.