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ERIC Number: ED536286
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 33
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
Black Immigrant Mothers in Palm Beach County, Florida, and Their Children's Readiness for School
Rich, Lauren; Spielberger, Julie; D'Angelo, Angela Valdovinos
Migration Policy Institute
This report compares the circumstances and characteristics of Black immigrant mothers in Palm Beach County, Florida, to those of Latina immigrant and Black native-born mothers, focusing on those living in distressed areas. The study also compares the early developmental outcomes of their children. When controlling for parental and child characteristics, the authors find that children of Black immigrants in kindergarten have significantly higher odds of being ready for school, as measured by behavior observations and literacy tests, than children of Latina immigrants or Black natives living in the focal areas. In addition, the authors find that Black children of immigrants who resided in distressed areas of Palm Beach County had kindergarten readiness assessment scores comparable to those of the average child living in the county as a whole. This finding suggests that many Black immigrant families with young children are able to overcome some of the negative environmental factors associated with living in distressed areas, such as higher rates of poverty, teen pregnancy, crime, and child abuse and neglect. Despite high levels of parenting stress and depression, Black immigrant mothers also report high levels of good behavior among their children. Their analyses indicate that some of the advantages experienced by the children of Black immigrants are due to their parents' relatively better educational and socioeconomic status. These advantages are bolstered by enrollment in center-based care and by parental support of childhood literacy (as measured by educational expectations and the number of books in the home). With respect to policy implications, this research supports the well-documented association between the use of center-based care and child outcomes, and suggests the need to explore ways to enroll greater numbers of both Black and Latina immigrants' children in high-quality center-based care and preschool. The finding that parents' encouragement of children's literacy influences differential outcomes between Latina and Black immigrants' children also suggests a need to better understand early parenting practices with respect to preparing children for school, as well as a need to increase the availability and quality of interventions designed to bolster such practices, particularly among mothers with lower educational backgrounds or literacy skills, and for whom English is a second language. Greater attention to these and related issues would not only help build on the positive development of the children of Black immigrants, but might also help to better support the development of children of other low-income and immigrant groups. Appended are: (1) Linear Regression Analysis of Maternal Report of Behavior; (2) Linear Regression Analysis of Maternal Report of Pre-Academic Skills; (3) Logistic Regression Analysis of ECHOS Test Scores (Consistently Demonstrating); and (4) Logistic Regression Analysis of FAIR Test Scores. (Contains 11 tables and 25 footnotes.) [This paper was written with assistance from Carolyn Winje.]
Migration Policy Institute. 1400 16th Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-266-1940; Fax: 202-266-1900; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Foundation for Child Development
Authoring Institution: Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
Identifiers - Location: Florida