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Maternal Predictors of Cultural Socialization in Latinx Families

Fri, March 22, 7:45 to 9:15am, Baltimore Convention Center, Floor: Level 1, Exhibit Hall B

Integrative Statement

Cultural socialization describes parental behavior designed to transmit cultural values, pride, and behaviors to children, and these practices are associated with positive psychosocial outcomes in Latinx families (Hughes et al., 2006; Umaña-Taylor & Updegraff, 2007). Cultural updates to the Family Stress Model posit that socioeconomic and cultural stressors can disrupt normative parenting processes (White, Roosa, Weaver, & Nair, 2009), and there is emerging empirical support for this model in Latinx families (Mistry et al., 2002; Taylor et al., 2011). Despite this body of research, few studies have extended this model to parenting practices related to cultural socialization. This study extends past research by examining how individual (maternal depressive symptoms), familial (parent-child relationship quality), cultural (discrimination, acculturation gap conflict) and economic stress impact cultural socialization practices in Latinx families.

Participants included 175 mother-adolescent dyads recruited from two middle schools in semi-rural North Carolina. Adolescents were in seventh and eighth grade, 51% were girls, and were on average 12.86 years of age (age range = 10.33-15.23 years). The majority of mothers were foreign-born (98%) and from Mexico (89%). On average, mothers had lived in the U.S. for 15.67 years (SD = 4.61). In contrast, the majority of adolescents were born in the U.S. (86%), and for foreign-born adolescents, the average age of immigration was 4.25 years of age. The median family income was $24,999.50 (income range = $5,000.00 to $87,499.50). Mothers were on average 38.23 years of age (age range = 28.12-55.04 years). All youth were bilingual and fluent in English, with the exception of three adolescents. All survey administration was completed at participants’ homes in Spanish. Data was collected from 2013 to 2015.

To test the question, two regression analyses were estimated including the individual, familial, cultural, and economic stressors predicting maternal and child report of cultural socialization. There were no significant results in predicting youth reported cultural socialization, however, there were significant predictors of maternal reported cultural socialization. In terms of individual and familial factors, maternal depressive symptoms was not significantly associated with cultural socialization, but greater relationship quality was associated with more cultural socialization (𝛽=.339, p=.000). Parent-child conflict showed a trend level effect with greater levels of cultural socialization (𝛽=.148, p=.073). In terms of socioeconomic and cultural stressors, only the cultural stressors were associated with socialization, with both discrimination and parent-child acculturation gap conflict associated with greater cultural socialization (𝛽=.310, p=.000; 𝛽=.219, p=.004).

These findings suggest that cultural stressors promote (rather than interfere with) parenting practices associated with cultural socialization. Additionally, it was found that non-cultural stressors typically associated with the disruption of parenting practices failed to inhibit cultural socialization practices.

These findings highlight the unique role of cultural stressors in the parenting practices of Latinx families, particularly those practices related to cultural socialization. Future research should explore the factors that do inhibit cultural socialization in Latinx immigrant families and predict the alignment of parent and child report of cultural socialization.

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