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Short Communication

Differences in media access and use between rural Native American and White children

Submitted: 21 November 2013
Accepted: 26 February 2014
Published: 29 August 2014

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Author(s) : Hswen Y, Naslund JA, Bickham DS.

Yulin HswenJohn NaslundDavid Bickham

Citation: Hswen Y, Naslund JA, Bickham DS.  Differences in media access and use between rural Native American and White children. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2014; 14: 2922. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=2922 (Accessed 24 October 2017)

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  Native American children experience greater disparities in the number and magnitude of health-related diseases than White children. Multimedia-based health interventions may afford valuable opportunities for reaching this underserved demographic; however, limited data are available describing the use of media technologies among Native Americans. This study characterized diverse media access and use between rural Native American and White children.
Methods:  Surveys were administered to students (n=477) aged 10–15 years in grades 6–8 across four public middle schools in the rural Upper Peninsula of the Midwestern USA state of Michigan.
Results:  Native American children (n=41) were more likely than White children (n=436) to have a video game system in their bedroom (65.9% vs 45.4%; p=0.01) and watch more minutes of television on Saturdays (110.3±91.7 vs 80.7±80.8; p=0.03). Native American children also had fewer computers within the home (1.20±0.81 vs 1.68±1.21; p=0.01) than White children and less household internet access (75.6% vs 87.1%; p=0.04), but demonstrated more use in minutes after school (79.9±97.9 vs 51.1±71.6; p=0.02) and on Saturdays (92.6±107.4 vs 60.0±85.1; p=0.02).
Conclusions:  This represents the first cross-cultural comparison of media access and use between Native American and White children from rural Michigan. Greater computer and internet use observed among the Native American children surveyed in this study supports the use of web-based public health initiatives aimed at reducing health disparities within this vulnerable group.

Key words: Aboriginal, American Indian, children, media, Native American, survey, USA, youth.

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