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Acad Pediatr. 2015 Jul-Aug;15(4):405-11. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2014.11.002. Epub 2014 Dec 19.

Minority Parents' Perspectives on Racial Socialization and School Readiness in the Early Childhood Period.

Author information

1
Division of Clinical Sciences, University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, Riverside, Calif; RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif. Electronic address: ashaunta.anderson@ucr.edu.
2
Department of Social Welfare, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, Calif.
3
Healthy African American Families II, Los Angeles, Calif; Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, Calif.
4
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif.
5
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif; Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif; Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, Calif; Center for Health Services and Society, UCLA Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles, Calif.
6
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif; Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, Calif; UCLA/RAND Prevention Research Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif; Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif; Children's Discovery & Innovation Institute, Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe how minority parents help their young children navigate issues of race and racism and discuss implications this racial socialization may have for school readiness.

METHODS:

Sixteen focus groups were conducted among 114 African American, English language-primary Latino, Spanish language-primary Latino, and Korean language-primary Korean parents of children ages 0 to 4 years old. Transcripts were coded for major themes and subsequently compared across the 4 language-ethnicity groups. Parents also shared demographic and parenting data by survey, from which group-specific proportions provide context for identified themes.

RESULTS:

In this sample, nearly half of surveyed parents had already talked to their young child about unfair treatment due to race. The proportion of such conversations ranged from one-fifth of Korean parents to two-thirds of Spanish language-primary parents. In focus groups, Korean parents reported fewer experiences with racism than African American and Latino parents. Within each language-ethnicity group, fewer fathers than mothers reported addressing race issues with their young children. All focus groups endorsed messages of cultural pride, preparation for bias, and a strong focus on the individual. The majority of parents viewed racial socialization as an important part of school readiness.

CONCLUSIONS:

Racial socialization was believed to be salient for school readiness, primarily practiced by mothers, and focused at the individual level. The smaller role of fathers and systems-based approaches represent opportunities for intervention. These results may inform the development of culturally tailored parenting interventions designed to decrease the race-based achievement gap and associated health disparities.

KEYWORDS:

early childhood; parenting; racial socialization; school readiness; social determinants of health

PMID:
25534762
DOI:
10.1016/j.acap.2014.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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