, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 333-350

Constructions and Reconstructions: Latino Parents' Values for Children

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There is a fair amount of support for the premise that parents construct their child-related values from the ethnic cultural models that are available to them. There are also indications that personal experiences play a role in the construction of values. However, this latter influence has not been well-researched. We reconstructed the child-related values of a sample of Mexican American and Puerto Rican parents of young children with disability to describe parent-held values and to examine the extent to which having a child with a disability impacted on these values. Analysis of parental ratings and of their narratives indicated substantial consistency across gender, civil status, and country of origin. Disability appeared to have a small and diffused impact on the values. Ratings differed significantly on the basis of the language of interview, and the definitions that parents offered also showed an effect of interaction with the Anglo American culture. However, an in-depth examination of these differences indicated that they were mostly restricted to labeling. The basic values of parents remained fairly consistent. This finding has substantial implications for research and practice. Equivalence of meaning should not be assumed across populations.