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Latino and African-American parental resources, investments, and socialization practices: Supporting toddler's language and social skills


Using a sample (N = 206) drawn from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009, we examined African-American and Latino toddlers ’ early home environments: family resources (education, income, family structure); parental investments (maternal interactions and literacy activities, father caregiving, and learning materials); and parenting practices (routines, discipline). We also examined how these factors related to toddler’s social and language skills. Regarding potential promotive factors, we found divergence: Latino toddlers live in two-parent families with mothers who reported low levels of spanking, whereas African-American toddlers have mothers with at least a high school education. We also found convergence: children in both groups had fathers who were somewhat engaged in caregiving and a mother who was engaged in literacy activities daily; access to books and toys; and moderate levels of maternal sensitivity. Learning materials and father caregiving were the strongest predictors of Latino and African-American toddlers ’ language skills, respectively. Father caregiving significantly predicted children’s African-American toddlers ’ social competence at age 3. Results are discussed in light of implications for prevention and intervention work. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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