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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand how first generation Latino parents, whose primary language is Spanish and live in a colonia on the U.S.-Mexico border, use screen time in their homes.

Methods: A purposeful sampling approach was used to recruit eligible parents of pre-adolescents (ages 9–14) who were native Spanish speakers, and living on the U.S.-Mexico border. Three focus groups in Spanish (two with mothers and one with fathers) were conducted. Data were codified using a general inductive approach based on grounded theory. A consensus process was repeated until a final codebook was developed.

Results: Screen time allowed parents to foster familismo (family cohesiveness and bonding) and respeto (respect). Parents knew that a healthy balance of media use is important, but broader social contexts (marital discord and economics) challenged the enforcement of familial screen time rules and parents were often permissive.

Conclusions: Our study addressed research gaps by examining the understudied social and cultural contexts (practices, routines, rules, and beliefs) that shape children’s screen time use among a sample of Latino immigrants living on the U.S.-Mexico border. This sample of parents indicated that familismo and respeto (i.e., cohesiveness and bonding) influence familial decision-making including screen time.


© 2020 The Author(s). Original published version available at

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being





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