Parenting Profiles of Young Low-income African American and Latina Mothers and Infant Socioemotional Development

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5 Scopus citations


SYNOPSIS: Objective. Parenting styles are complex and have been well studied in parents of children and adolescents; however, less is known about parenting styles in early infancy, especially among ethnic minority groups. This study examines empirically identifiable profiles of early parenting that are associated with later infant socioemotional development. Design. 239 young, low-income, African American (54.8%) and Latina (45.2%) mothers were videorecorded with their 3-month-old infants. At 13-months, mothers reported on their infants’ socioemotional development. Results. Person-oriented latent class analysis was used to identify four parenting styles: Sensitive/Stimulating (25%), Warm/Unstimulating (37%), Engaged/Tough (22%), and Disengaged (16%). The most common style among African American mothers was Engaged/Tough (34.4%), and the most prevalent style among Latina mothers was Warm/Unstimulating (48.2%). Infants of Warm/Unstimulating mothers had the lowest reported levels of problem behavior at 13 months, whereas infants of Sensitive/Stimulating mothers had the highest reported mastery motivation. Infants of Disengaged mothers had the highest reported levels of internalizing and total problem behavior and the lowest reported mastery motivation. Conclusions. Qualitatively distinct styles of early parenting link to different infant socioemotional outcomes in ways not fully captured by single dimensions of parenting. Practitioners working with young mothers from diverse ethnic backgrounds may be more effective at promoting positive parenting and infant development if they understand and can build on the strengths of certain parenting styles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-52
Number of pages25
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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