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The Impact of parental enculturation via ethnic socialization: predictors of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers' ethnic identity

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Ethnic identity has consistently been associated with Latino youths' psychosocial well-being; however, an area that has received much less attention is how parents' characteristics inform their ethnic socialization efforts and,

Ethnic identity has consistently been associated with Latino youths' psychosocial well-being; however, an area that has received much less attention is how parents' characteristics inform their ethnic socialization efforts and, in turn, youths' ethnic identity. In addition, we know little about how this process unfolds in specific at-risk samples of youth, such as adolescent mothers. Thus, the current prospective study examined how mothers' cultural characteristics informed adolescents' and mothers' reports of ethnic socialization, and how this, in turn, informed adolescents' ethnic identity exploration and resolution among a sample of 193 adolescent mothers and their mothers. In addition, the current study tested whether mothers' ethnic identity affirmation was directly related to adolescents' ethnic identity affirmation over time. Results indicated that mothers' familism was associated with increases in mothers' reports of maternal ethnic socialization, and, in turn, with increases in ethnic identity exploration for foreign-born adolescents, and decreases in ethnic identity exploration for U.S.-born adolescents. In addition, adolescents' reports of familial ethnic socialization were associated with increases in their ethnic identity exploration and resolution. Finally, mothers' ethnic identity affirmation was associated with increases in adolescents' ethnic identity affirmation. Findings are discussed with special attention to the importance of mothers' cultural values in how they socialize their adolescents, and this impact on adolescents' ethnic identity, as well as the implications this study has for interventions focused on bolstering positive outcomes for adolescent mothers.

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  • 2012