Expanding Latino Parents’ Access to Child Development Research through the News Media

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Resource Type:
Research | Research Brief
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Broadcast Media, Community Outreach Programs
General Public | Educators/Teachers | Learning Researchers
Education and learning science | General STEM | Social science and psychology
Access and Inclusion: 
Hispanic/Latinx Communities
English Language Learners
Low Socioeconomic Status
Child Trends

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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Team Members

Alicia TorresAlicia TorresPrincipal Investigator
Selma CaalSelma CaalAuthor
Luz GuerraLuz GuerraAuthor
Angela RojasAngela RojasAuthor

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