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Socialization goals of immigrant mothers from diverse cultures and of their children's preschool teachers in Italy

This study investigated and compared the socialization goals and values of first-generation immigrant mothers in Italy and of their children's preschool teachers. Seventy-eight mothers of four major migrant groups--Romanian, Moroccan, Nigerian, and Sri Lankan--and 21 Italian teachers were interviewed about the most important things they want their children to learn or achieve in their life. A thematic content analysis of the interviews yielded nine categories of socialization goals that were differentially emphasized by mothers and teachers. All immigrant mothers emphasized the value of goals associated with hierarchical relatedness, particularly Respect for Adults, Religious Practice, and Sense of Family and Original Culture. However, correspondence analysis showed that the mothers' views tended to conglomerate in clusters with those of mothers of the same cultural background, indicating some differences between the four groups that might shed light on different acculturation processes. The Italian teachers focused on goals pertaining to individual psychological autonomy (Autonomy Identity), Social Integration, and Respect for Social Rules, showing a considerable distance from the immigrant mothers' main goals. These findings provide empirical evidence that children of first-generation immigrant families experience caregivers at home and in preschool with divergent goals for their development. This has important practical implications, suggesting the need for action to increase the mutual understanding of caregivers with different cultural backgrounds. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers

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