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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014 Nov-Dec;46(6):484-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2014.06.004. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

Technology use and interest among low-income parents of young children: differences by age group and ethnicity.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR. Electronic address: tswindle@uams.edu.
2
Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.
3
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine demographic differences in frequency of use of technologies and interest in receiving nutrition information via technology by low-income parents and caregivers.

DESIGN:

Descriptive, cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Head Start and state-funded child care programs.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 806 parents and caregivers from low-income families.

VARIABLES MEASURED:

A 20-item survey assessed frequency of use and interest in technologies (dependent variables) and collected participant age and ethnicity (independent variables).

ANALYSIS:

Multivariate ANOVA analysis investigated whether age, ethnicity, and their interactions were related to frequency of use and interest in technology types.

RESULTS:

Daily rates of usage for Internet, text messaging, and cell phone use were over 60%. However, Twitter and blogs were accessed daily by < 13% of respondents. The omnibus 2-way interaction of ethnicity and age was nonsignificant. However, main effects for ethnicity (Wilks' λ = .85; F = 3.13; P < .001) and age (Wilks' λ = .89; F = 2.29; P < .001) were observed.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Facebook, e-mail, texting, and smartphone applications may be innovative modalities to engage with low-income parents and caregivers aged ≤ 45. However, some strategies may be ineffective for reaching Hispanic families as they reported less use of the Internet, Facebook, and e-mail as well as less interest in e-mail.

KEYWORDS:

child nutrition sciences; electronic e-mail; low-income population; social media; technology

PMID:
25087748
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2014.06.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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