Parental Mediation of Children's Television Viewing in Low-Income Families


  • Ron Warren

    1. Ron Warren (PhD, Indiana University) is an associate professor at the University of Arkansas. This study was facilitated by the Center for Communication and Media Research at the University of Arkansas.
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  • Correspondence regarding this article may be addressed to the author at Department of Communication, 417 Kimpel Hall, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701.


Studies of parental mediation of children's television viewing have included samples of mostly middle- and upper-class Caucasian parents. These studies have only begun to examine mediation in the context of parent-child relationships. This study of 306 low-income, predominately African American mothers assesses macro- and microlevel influences on viewing mediation using Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory of child development. It was hypothesized that factors outside the home (e.g., work hours) influence parents' involvement with children, which, in turn, was predicted to influence viewing mediation. Results supported this model for coviewing and instructive mediation, but not for viewing restrictions.