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Maternal Teaching Strategies in Chicano and Anglo-American Families: The Influence of Culture and Education on Maternal Behavior

Laosa, Luis M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Cultural Influences, Mexican Americans, Mothers, Observational Studies, Parent Role


The study examined (a) whether differences exist between Chicano and Anglo-American families in the strategies that mothers use to teach their own children and (b) whether such differences, if they exist, are likely to persist or disappear as a result of effective social change toward increased educational and occupational equality in the society where the two groups coexist. Eighty-three Chicano and Anglo-American mothers were observed in their homes teaching cognitive-perceptual tasks to their own five-year-old children. Significant differences in maternal teaching strategies were found between the two cultural groups. Results also showed that these differences appear to be the result of differences in the average level of formal education attained by the mothers in the two cultural populations. These results suggest that the observed differences in maternal teaching strategies may disappear as women in the two cultural groups attain similar levels of formal education. (25pp.)

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