Parenting Styles in a Cultural Context: Observations of “Protective Parenting” in First-Generation Latinos

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Family Process, ISSN: 0014-7370, Vol: 48, Issue: 2, Page: 195-210

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Rodríguez, Melanie M. Domenech; Donovick, Melissa R.; Crowley, Susan Lynn
Psychology; Social Sciences; parenting styles; protective parenting; Latinos; Educational Psychology
article description
Current literature presents four primary parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful. These styles provide an important shortcut for a constellation of parenting behaviors that have been characterized as consisting of warmth, demandingness, and autonomy granting. Empirically, only warmth and demandingness are typically measured. Research reporting on parenting styles in Latino samples has been equivocal leading to questions about conceptualization and measurement of parenting styles in this ethnic/cultural group. This lack of consensus may result from the chasm between concepts (e.g., authoritarian parenting) and observable parenting behaviors (e.g., warmth) in this ethnic group. The present research aimed to examine parenting styles and dimensions in a sample of Latino parents using the two usual dimensions (warmth, demandingness) and adding autonomy granting. Traditional parenting styles categories were examined, as well as additional categorizations that resulted from adding autonomy granting. Fifty first-generation Latino parents and their child (aged 4-9) participated. Parent-child interactions were coded with the Parenting Style Observation Rating Scale (P-SOS). In this sample, the four traditional parenting categories did not capture Latino families well. The combination of characteristics resulted in eight possible parenting styles. Our data showed the majority (61%) of Latino parents as "protective parents." Further, while mothers and fathers were similar in their parenting styles, expectations were different for male and female children. The additional dimensions and implications are discussed. The importance of considering the cultural context in understanding parenting in Latino families is emphasized, along with directions for future research. © FPI, Inc.