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Maternal Behavior: Sociocultural Diversity in Modes of Family Interaction HEW NIH

Laosa, Luis M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Administration for Children, Youth, and Families, HEW, Biomedical Research Support Grant Program, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Spencer Foundation, Child Development, Cultural Pluralism, Family Dynamics, Mexican Americans, Mothers, Parent Child Relationship


Although many relationships can and do indeed play influential roles in the course of the child's life, in most cultural settings one finds that the ordinary everyday interactions between mother and child constitute without question a paramount aspect of the social environment of childhood. The mother-child relationship takes place within a set of physical, economic, and cultural circumstances that in many ways determines the manner in which the relationship will evolve. As a result of this process of adaptation, one sees great diversity in maternal behavior not only among the societies of the world, but also within any given society when one observes families in different social classes and ethnic groups. The focus in this paper is on variations in maternal behavior in families among diverse social and cultural groups within U.S. society. (88pp.)

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