Expanding Latino Parents’ Access to Child Development Research through the News Media
This research brief highlights findings from the proof of concept pilot year of the Child Trends News Service project. It explores what we have learned regarding best practices for communicating with and engaging Latino parents through short messages on research-informed parenting practices. The findings are grounded in research that substantiates the need to amplify access to child development research, particularly among low-income Latino families; and in communication science research that demonstrates the value of the news media as an information source for child development research.
Based on our findings, the prospects for producing short news stories on research-based parenting practices that engage Latino audiences are promising, suggesting that communicators who adhere to practices described in this brief can successfully engage parents. This brief provides communicators with six practical recommendations for engaging parents regarding social science child development research.
The best practices featured in the brief are based on the focus groups with low-income Latino parents. These focus groups explored how parents interact with child development research information to make informed parenting decisions. By understanding parents' perspectives and needs, researchers and organizations can more effectively share information with families.
This research advances the field of communication science — specifically the understanding of how to effectively communicate social science in ways that are relevant and useful to the intended audiences. The project contributes to the knowledge base of how people learn about science through informal channels such as the mass media.
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