Mother–Child Relationships in U.S. Latinx Families in Middle Childhood: Opportunities and Challenges in the 21st Century

Kimberly A. Updegraff, Adriana J Umana-Taylor, Daye Son, Karina M. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The 21st century has brought unique opportunities and challenges for parents, and this is particularly true for Latinx families, whose children comprise more than one-fourth of the school-age population in the U.S. today. Taking an ecological and strengths-based approach, the current study examined the role of mothers’ cultural assets (familism values, family cohesion) and challenges (eco-nomic hardship, ethnic–race-based discrimination) on children’s educational adjustment in middle childhood, as well as the indirect role of mother–child warmth and conflict in these associations. The sample included 173 Latinx mothers and their middle childhood offspring (i.e., 5th graders and younger sisters/brothers in the 1st through 4th grade). Mothers participated in home visits and phone interviews and teachers provided ratings of children’s educational adjustment (academic and socioemotional competence, aggressive/oppositional behaviors). Findings revealed family cohesion was indirectly linked to children’s educational adjustment via mother–child warmth and conflict, particularly for younger siblings. Discussion focuses on the culturally based strengths of Latinx families and highlights potential implications for family-based prevention in middle childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalSocial Sciences
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Hispanic
  • Latino/a/x
  • Middle childhood
  • Mothers/mother–child relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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