Mothering strategies and maternal satisfaction among Latin American, Afro American, and Anglo American groups of at-risk mothers

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Virginia Tech


Parenting, one of the most complex and fulfilling roles for most human beings creates not only a sense of responsibility, but also emotions with different meanings that contribute to the level of satisfaction that parents perceive from their parental role.

Factors, other than socio-economic ones, create differences in the way people parent. And individuals from other cultural traditions may bring different values to their parenting practices.

In an effort to find commonalities and differences in parenting and trying to put them in perspective in order to improve the interventions aimed to help parent-child relationships, this study proposed to investigate the relationships, this study proposed to investigate the relationship between mothering strategies and maternal satisfaction among three different ethnic groups of at-risk mothers: Latin Americans, Afro Americans, and Anglo Americans.

The Latin American group reported supporting a lower use of physical punishment when disciplining a child than its counterparts the Afro American and the Anglo American groups. All three groups of mothers supported the use of reason as a means of disciplining when mothering their child. Most of the participants supported praising their children as a way of mothering. And, the majority of them disagreed with the use of permissive ways of mothering their children.

The results from regression procedures suggested that ethnic group membership and the use of reason were the best predictors of maternal satisfaction. These results are discussed as well as implications for clinical practice.