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Raising American Citizens: Socialization Goals of Low-Income Immigrant Latino Mothers and Fathers of Young Children

Abstract

Based on ecocultural theory, this study utilizes focus group interviews to explore the ways Latino immigrant mothers and fathers transmit the values and beliefs they wish their young children to internalize. Findings suggest that parents purposely “pick and choose” values they deem “Latino,” such as the importance of family and values they deem “American,” such as independence, to pass on to their children. Parents recognized three main barriers that might stand in their way of teaching their children to adapt to two cultural groups: balancing work and family, low self-esteem, and lack of good parental role models. However, they also pointed out two sources of strength that can help them overcome these barriers: optimism and motivation. This study provides a basis for generating hypotheses to be tested with larger datasets and informs the development of theory and culturally sensitive interventions and measures to evaluate Latino parenting.

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Correspondence to Daniela Aldoney.

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Aldoney, D., Cabrera, N.J. Raising American Citizens: Socialization Goals of Low-Income Immigrant Latino Mothers and Fathers of Young Children. J Child Fam Stud 25, 3607–3618 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0510-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0510-x

Keywords

  • Immigrant families
  • Latino
  • Biculturalism
  • Socialization