Childrearing Goals of Mexican and Dominican Mothers from NYC
Department of Applied Psychology & Center for Research on Culture, Development and Education
New York University
Background Literature & Rationale Procedure Coding Developmental Changes
•Beliefs that parents hold about the desirable qualities of their • Phone interviews were conducted 1 month after
• Mothers’ responses were transcribed, translated and coded. A
children help to elucidate the meanings that underlie parenting the birth of the focus child. coding scheme was devised based on the 27 goals that emerged in •Repeated-measures analyses showed significant
practices and developmental outcomes. the 1 month data. changes in the desired goals mothers reported across the
•Mothers were visited in their homes 14 months • Interrater reliability was established on the final set of 27 goals and two age periods.
•Culture, education, and economic status are the most consistent after the birth of their child. reached optimal agreement (90%).
predictors of parents’ developmental goals (e.g., Harwood, 1995). •Specifically, mothers emphasized achievement (p < .001)
• The 27 goals were collapsed into 7 distinct overarching domains:
•Much is known about the goals of middle-class European •Mothers were asked to name a desired quality and individuality (p < .001) as desired goals at 14 months
Americans parents; less is known about other cultural groups. they wished their children to have by age three, to DOMAIN EXAMPLE significantly more than they did at 1 month
define, and provide an example. Achievement Language and literacy development,
•Latino groups make up 14% of the total US population and are the intelligence, learning/curiosity •In addition, mothers’ emphasis on health (p < .001) and
fastest growing immigrant group (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). Health Healthy/Nnormal development, happiness
• Mothers gave multiple qualities and all were Self-control Calm, touch, aggressive tantrums.
self-control decreased by 14 months (p < .05)
•Latino parents promote goals related to collectivism and coded. Proper Well Mannered, obedience, respect.
interdependence, such as “familism, respect, and moral education” Connectedness Compassionate, sociable, generosity
(Halgunseth, Ispa, & Rudy 2006). Individuality Instrumental/emotional independence
Safety Understanding danger
•Few studies have addressed the goals of Latino parents across
the first year of their infant’s lives, a time of major family Conclusions
transitions. • Understanding childrearing goals offers insight into the
Childrearing Goals at 1-Month beliefs that shape actual parenting practices, leading to
different developmental outcomes.
15.62% 17.71% 15.31% Achievement
Objectives & Hypotheses 19.39% • The goals emphasized by both Mexican and Dominican
Individuality mothers at 1-month and 14-month were achievement,
individuality, proper demeanor, connectedness,
RQ1:What are the childrearing goals that mothers from Mexican 9.18% Proper Demeanor safety, self control, and health.
and Dominican cultural backgrounds have at the birth of their 15.62% 14.58% 1.02%
babies? 12.24% Connectedness • Much emphasis was placed on achievement (e.g.,
knowing his ABC’s), proper demeanor (e.g., listens)
Safety and individuality (e.g., be potty trained), as mothers
RQ2: How do these goals change as their infants enter their
second year? Self-Control described these traits as the most desired.
11.46% • Results are consistent with evidence that parents hold
Hypotheses: 23.90% Health
31.63% different beliefs and expectations for their children’s
Mothers of younger infants are expected to be more concerned early developmental milestones in the infant years.
about happiness and health-related goals. At 14 months, given the Mexican Mothers Dominican Mothers
saliency of language development is expected that mothers will • Findings also align with prior research that highlights the
focus more on achievement. emphasis of collective communities on values related to
family, respect and moral education (Halgunseth, Ispa, &
Childrearing Goals at 14-Months Rudy, 2006).
5% • It is important for further research to investigate how
Participants Achievement 5% 4% 7%
0% these early beliefs might relate to child outcomes and
•97 Mexican mothers (100% immigrant) and 114 Dominican 4% parenting practices.
(85% immigrant) were recruited from NYC hospitals after the Individuality 34% 35%
birth of the focus child. 13%
13% • Understanding what parents wish most for their children
•Mothers had to self identify as either Mexican or Dominican, and Proper Demeanor is the first step in the development of culturally sensitive
had be at least 18 years of age. parenting interventions programs.
Baseline Statistics Safety 10%
Has HS Diploma/GED 28.1% 35.1% Self-Control
Has Beyond HS Diploma 40.4% 10.3% Acknowledgements
Average HH Income $24,225 $17,144 Health 27% 30% I would like to thank Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda and Dr. Ronit Kahana
Mexican Mothers Dominican Mothers Kalman for their invaluable support and guidance.