Self-reported maternal expectations and child-rearing practices: Disentangling the associations with ethnicity, immigration, and educational background
Durgel, Elif S.
Van de Vijver, Fons J.R.
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This study aimed at: (1) disentangling the associations between ethnicity, immigration, educational background, and mothers’ developmental expectations and (self-reported) child-rearing practices; and (2) identifying the cross-cultural differences and similarities in developmental expectations and child-rearing practices. Participants were 111 Dutch and 111 Turkish immigrant mothers in the Netherlands, and 242 Turkish mothers living in Turkey. Dutch and higher-educated mothers had a tendency to believe that children learn certain skills and behaviors at an earlier age than did Turkish and lower-educated mothers, respectively. Turkish mothers, majority group, and higher-educated mothers reported more child-centered parenting practices than Dutch mothers, immigrants, and mothers with less education, respectively. Parent-centered parenting practices were reported mainly by less educated mothers. The analyses on disentangling the associations between sociodemographic background variables and parenting pointed to the relative importance and consistency of maternal education as a predictor of parenting, compared to ethnic background and immigration history. It is concluded that disentangling variables that are often associated with studies comparing immigrant and majority groups is essential for a proper understanding of similarities and differences in developmental expectations and child-rearing practices.