As the US population continues to diversify, early childhood programs serving the nation's youngest citizens strive to meet the needs of culturally diverse families. The current study seeks to examine the racial-ethnic socialization of preschool-age children in home and school contexts by multiple caregivers. Using cultural-ecological models as a guide, the study looks at four components within each socialization setting: parents/teachers, family/peers, physical environments, and the racial-ethnic composition of neighborhoods/child care programs. Utilizing a proposed sample of approximately 200 three- to five-year-old children and their families that participate in Head Start programs in Upstate New York, the effects of match or mismatch of home and school racial-ethnic socialization on children's racial attitudes, and socioemotional and cognitive development will be examined. The racially and ethnically diverse population of Head Start families will allow for the definition of typologies of socialization between groups and will speak to the variation of child care needs by cultural orientation. Structural equation modeling techniques will allow for examination of the latent constructs of home socialization and school socialization via multiple informants and measures and will determine the pathways of influence between these multidimensional constructs and young children's development. The study's findings have the potential of laying bare the importance of ethnic socialization, regarded as a protective factor, in Head Start children's early academic and social development and for informing early childhood practices.
Divergence or Convergence of Home and School Racial-Ethnic Socialization: Effects on Preschool Children's Racial Attitudes, Socioemotional and Cognitive Development
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