11-11-2020 | Empirical Research
Beliefs about Expressing Love to Adolescents among Ethnically and Economically Diverse Mothers
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 3/2021Log in om toegang te krijgen
Parental love promotes positive developmental outcomes among adolescents, yet knowledge about how context might influence the behaviors parents deem as loving is limited. This study examined mothers’ beliefs about expressing love to adolescent children in diverse ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Participants were 60 European American, 63 African American, and 60 Latina mothers. Household income (the indicator of socioeconomic status) varied within each ethnic group. Beliefs about the most important ways to express love differed by ethnicity more so than income. Latina mothers were more likely than other mothers to emphasize behaviors that involve family togetherness and practical help and guidance, and less likely to emphasize verbal affection or promoting independence. Mothers from all groups believed that “correction and discipline” was an important expression of love. The findings contribute to an ecologically sensitive understanding of parenting during adolescence, highlighting similarities as well as differences across ethnic and income groups.