Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 390–405

African-American Parenting Characteristics and Their Association With Children’s Cognitive and Academic School Readiness


DOI: 10.1007/s12111-011-9195-9

Cite this article as:
Watkins-Lewis, K.M. & Hamre, B.K. J Afr Am St (2012) 16: 390. doi:10.1007/s12111-011-9195-9


When compared to risk factors, less is known about family characteristics that enhance developmental outcomes among low-income African-American children. The current study explored elements of African-American parenting and their relationship to early childhood academic readiness. Using a predominantly low-income African-American subsample from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care (N = 105), this investigation examined associations between three maternal factors–beliefs, confidence, and warmth and children’s cognitive and early academic development. We hypothesized that the children of African-American parents who reported more traditional authoritarian beliefs, maternal confidence, and maternal warmth would display higher levels of cognitive development and achievement at school entry. Multiple regression analysis indicated that maternal confidence and warmth were predictive of cognitive development and achievement. Traditional beliefs were found to be inversely related to academic readiness. Together, the predictive variables explained 36% of the variation in cognitive functioning.


African-AmericanCognitionAchievementParenting characteristicsSchool readiness

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and LearningUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA