Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 333–350 | Cite as

Constructions and Reconstructions: Latino Parents' Values for Children

  • Emily Arcia
  • María E. Reyes-Blanes
  • Elia Vazquez-Montilla


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.

Mexican American Puerto Rican parents values disability 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily Arcia
    • 1
  • María E. Reyes-Blanes
    • 2
  • Elia Vazquez-Montilla
    • 3
  1. 1.Frank Porter Graham Child Development CenterUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill
  2. 2.Department of Exceptional and Physical EducationUniversity of Central FloridaOrlando
  3. 3.College of EducationFlorida Gulf Coast UniversityFt. Myers

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