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Shana Lucas ACF Abstract FY11

"Socialization of emotion: A comparison between European American and Hispanic mothers"

83rd Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association

Shana Lucas

This study aims to compare the criteria of children's competence between Hispanic and Caucasian mothers. N = 35 Caucasian and Hispanic-American mothers of 2-year old children were interviewed. Based on the Criteria for Competence Interview mothers were asked to describe children between 2-5 years who are doing-well and not doing-well. The open answers were transcribed, translated and coded by three independent raters.

Preliminary results point to six global characteristics in child competence: achievement, conformity, self-direction, sociability, well-being, and emotional adjustment. Furthermore, Hispanic-American mothers seem to favor conformity more whereas European American mothers favor self-direction.

Due to the strong increase of the Hispanic population over the last two decades (Veeck, Veeck, Hyter & Santiago-Valles, 2004), such knowledge about ethnic differences becomes essential for professional caregivers so they become aware that children with different ethnic backgrounds may display unique behavior based on the varying expectations within their families.