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ZERO TO THREE Announces Release of 'Millennial Connections' Parent Survey

Nov 27, 2018

ZERO TO THREE shares findings from the second survey of parents of children aged birth to 5.

WASHINGTON—ZERO TO THREE, the leading nonprofit dedicated to giving babies and toddlers a strong start in life, released today “Millennial Connections,” a survey of parents and other caregivers of children under age 5 revealing how parents get information and advice about raising children, and who they most trust to deliver these messages. The report is the result of a collaboration between ZERO TO THREE and its partners: the Bezos Family Foundation, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, Overdeck Family Foundation, and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

The survey was designed to identify trends among young parents, particularly low-income families, about their access to and trust in sources of parenting information.

Key findings include:

  • Personal networks (family and friends, but immediate family in particular) are a key source for parents with young children. Parents are more likely to trust parenting information that they receive from immediate family than any other source, whether online or in person.

  • Parents make a distinction between medical and expert websites, and other online parenting resources like social media and parenting blogs. Sites like WebMD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ZERO TO THREE, and the Mayo Clinic are sought out and trusted at significantly higher rates when compared to other online information options.

  • Education and income levels influence use of science-based online resources. For example, parents with college educations are more likely to use websites like WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, ZERO TO THREE, and the CDC for parenting information. On the other hand, 22 percent of parents reporting lower incomes and 27 percent of parents with lower education levels never access this type of website for parenting information.

  • Celebrities, brands, television advertisements, and social media were parents’ least trusted sources of information for parents among all demographic groups.

“Although today’s parents are more connected through technology than ever before, Grandma wins out over Google,” said Rebecca Parlakian, ZERO TO THREE’s senior director of programs and a parenting expert. “Millennial Connections shines a spotlight on the important role of the ecosystem of support surrounding a family. Parents tell us they turn to, and trust, family and friends—but also health care providers, teachers and child care providers, home visitors, and parent educators, among others.”

For more information on the report, visit zerotothree.org/millennial-connections.