ERIC Number: ED208955
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Cross Cultural Comparison of Parental Attitudes Toward Aspects of Infant Socialization.
Gilbert, M. Jean
The purpose of this study was to examine Anglo-American and Mexican-American parents' attitudes about infant socialization. Occupational status of fathers was used to identify participants' social class, and mothers and fathers were interviewed in English or Spanish 9 weeks after the birth of their first child. Attitudes were examined regarding babies' cries. Overall, participants demonstrated more similarities than differences in attitudes about infants' cries, although women distinguished more types of cries than did men. Most participants identified hunger cries; many also distinguished cries for attention, discomfort, and anger. Many more middle-class than working-class fathers of both ethnic groups claimed to recognize anger cries. About two-thirds of the parents in each group believed certain infant behaviors should be discouraged, but examples varied. Mexican-American parents tended to discourage poor social behaviors (such as demanding constant attention), whereas Anglo-Americans discouraged self-damaging behaviors (such as head banging). Although Anglo-Americans preferred distraction as a means of behavior control, no other particular method was singled out. Most parents believed infants could be taught such things as verbal and social skills, but ethnic differences emerged as to which types of infant stimulation should be provided (Anglos felt positive about providing toys and books). Overall, similarities outweighed differences in attitudes, and social class was more often associated with parents' responses than was ethnic origin. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: Santa Barbara Family Care Center, CA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-28, 1981).