Comparing Black, Hispanic, and White Mothers with a National Standard of Parenting

By Strom, Robert D.; Strom, Paris S. et al. | Adolescence, Fall 2008 | Go to article overview

Comparing Black, Hispanic, and White Mothers with a National Standard of Parenting


Strom, Robert D., Strom, Paris S., Beckert, Troy E., Adolescence


Parenting practices are typically studied in relation to particular subcultures. The prevailing assumption is that identifying attributes of subcultures can foster preservation of valued characteristics, guide acculturation, and promote inter-group respect. On the other hand, this narrow focus excludes the benefits that could emerge from comparisons if data from subcultures are combined to reveal common expectations and behaviors of parents across the society. When subcultures are explored independently, shortcomings are overlooked because there is no external standard for contrast. The parents' environment can become their normative reference and might be accepted without questioning whether it supports success in the broader society. Using a larger lens to view how parents perform could present a more accurate impression of their strengths and learning needs (Baker & LeTendre, 2006; Diller, 2007).

Construction of a National Standard

Significant demographic shifts are anticipated. By 2050 the Hispanic proportion of the national population will increase from the current 12% to 24% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). Such changes should be accompanied by parent awareness of normative expectations for bringing up children. In an interdependent society, everyone has some stake in the well-being of other people's children and every family should fulfill their unique responsibility for providing appropriate education in the home. Efforts toward conceptualizing a national standard for expectations of parent behavior must take into account the observation that, for the past two generations, middle class White parents have been portrayed as exemplars to prevent children from becoming disadvantaged. However, during the Internet era, since youth from every background can more readily be exposed to risk, no particular parent group is identified as a model for all to follow.

Representative sampling offers a more respectful basis for parents to determine how they, as individuals and as members of ethnic groups, accord with or depart from a national standard of expectation for parent behavior. Previous steps to explore building a national standard for parent success as perceived by two generations resulted in mother and adolsecent norms regarding maternal strengths and learning needs (Strom, Strom, Strom, Shen, & Beckert, 2004). Selected aspects of parent behavior were examined for Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites that together comprise 95% of the total national population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). A weighing method corresponding with the current ethnic proportions was applied to establish a standard for comparative reference. While the data were drawn from different ethnic groups, the purpose was to examine them collectively to formulate a composite image of mothers of adolescents.

This strategy assures that combining the views of these groups to create a national reference standard produces a more accurate representation of American mothers than is currently available. The trial standard also makes it possible to compare the strengths and shortcomings of each ethnic group in comparison with the national standard. In this way, ethnically diverse mothers can find out the aspects of parenting in which they excel and recognize domains where they should focus on learning. Such an approach can also support a more equitable allocation of financial and other community resources by giving priority to the subgroups and individuals that present the greatest need (Rose, 2006).

Sources for Evaluating Parent Success

Self-impressions. Communities have traditionally made known the criteria that parents relied on for self-evaluation (Putnam, 2000; 2004). However, as society has evolved, many parents now find themselves lacking community standards as a basis for guiding their behavior. As a result, some turn to professionals on television and radio or to authors of self-help books to define success and suggest how to assess progress.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Comparing Black, Hispanic, and White Mothers with a National Standard of Parenting
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.