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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Study Examines Moms By Race

African American and Caucasian Moms Differ on Battling a Down Economy, Aspirations for their Children and Parental Challenges

When it comes to motherhood, nothing is black and white. As we usher in the historic inauguration of our first African American President, BSM Media examines the behaviors, values and habits of mothers across racial lines. Our research shows that while all mothers are battling with the growing concerns facing our nation, such as education and saving for the future, some of a mother’s coping strategies and motivations are tied to her culture and ethnic background.

“Moms share universal concern for their children, community and family,” says Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media and author of the recently released book “Mom 3.0: Marketing With Today’s Mothers by Leveraging New Media and Technology. “It is clear, however, that the way she reacts to the economy, rising food costs and the dreams she has for her children is impacted by her personal experiences, upbringing and ethnic background.”

BSM Media partnered with several prominent African American mom bloggers to field this research: Jennifer James, editor of Mommy Too! Magazine (, Melanie Sheridan from Mel, A Dramatic Mommy (, Kimberly Coleman from Mom in the City (, and Michele Dortch, The Integrated Mother (

“Identifying the specific needs of African American Moms is timely,” said Melanie Sheridan from Mel, A Dramatic Mommy, “Companies and media need to be more culturally aware and prepared for the expanded audiences recent historic events may bring their way.”

Key Findings of the study include:

· Although the majority of all moms have made household adjustments to cope with the family crisis, African American moms are more likely to delay major purchases (57%) and avoid stores to reduce shopping (54%). Caucasian moms are coping by using coupons and discount codes (73%) and driving fewer places to conserve gas (62%).

“It takes a lot of time and concerted effort to use coupons effectively and save significant sums of money, and time is something that many African American moms don’t have”, says Jennifer James, editor of Mommy Too! Magazine (, “In addition, many of the manufacturer coupons found in the Sunday newspaper are not found in the retail locations in urban communities and if they are, many African American moms opt to purchase lower cost generic brands which usually don’t issue coupons.”

· African American moms are more likely to turn to clergy for support (60%) than Caucasian moms (41%). Other popular support outlets among both races included spouses, parents and other moms.

· Although moms across racial lines ranked education as their greatest dream for their children, African American moms are more likely to aspire for their children to have a deep religious commitment as adults than Caucasian moms.

“For many of us, our faith has sustained us.” says Kimberly Coleman of Mom in the City,, in response to the importance of religion in the African American community.

· Caucasian moms named managing the desires of their children for material things as a challenge (45%), while African American moms are battling with affordable housing (35%).

· While online, African American mothers are more likely to read articles (68%) and experience music (45%). Caucasian mothers are likely to frequent social networks (45%) and message boards (43%).

“The results of BSM’s research confirm one very important fact - we may share a common bond as mothers, but each of us brings a unique approach to motherhood that must be recognized,” says Michele Dortch of The Integrated Mother. “I’m excited that Maria has pioneered this research that addresses the diversity found among mothers.”

About the Survey

The survey was conducted in January 2009 via online invitation. An ending sample of over 1,400 Moms with children under 18 living at home completed the online questionnaire. For more information, or full research results, contact

The research explored other topics from personal indulgences to technology usage.

Technology Habits

· The majority of all respondents (85%) turn to the Internet first when looking for product recommendations and other mom-related parenting advice.

· The Internet was also the top answer among both races, when asked which piece of technology they couldn’t live without.

· While online, African American mothers are more likely to read articles (68%) and experience music (45%). Caucasian mothers are likely to frequent social networks (45%) and message boards (43%).

· Blogs are popular among all respondents, with 58% naming the media among their favorite forms of content online.

News and Current Events

· Moms of both races are more likely to tune into news that has a local or economic impact.

· African American moms are interested in political stories (54%) while Caucasian moms are more likely to follow celebrity and entertainment news (44%).

Free Time and Indulgences

· When an African American mom catches a rare free moment, she is most likely to read (77%), while Caucasian moms are most likely to surf the Internet (77%).

· Reading and Internet time scored higher than spending time with spouses for the majority of respondents.

· When asked about their ultimate indulgences, Caucasian moms listed a rich dessert (48%) and a fine bottle of wine (40%) among their top treats. African American moms would rather indulge by sleeping late (60%) or getting away for the weekend (35%).

Advertising and Marketing

  • When viewing advertisements, the majority of all respondents notice the product first, rather than the ad’s message.
  • Overall, Caucasian moms think marketers are doing a better job in speaking to them than African American mothers.

Are trying to reach Multicultural Moms? BSM Media can help. Contact Natalie at and watch out for more information on our Spring Multicultural Mommy Blogger Monologues!

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