University of Louisville

Poster Title

Parents’ Perception of Stress and Their Racial Socialization of African American Children Attending Head Start

Institution

University of Louisville

Abstract

Parenting stress can have adverse effects on parent-child interactions, which can later impact a child’s school readiness. High stress in the parent-child relationship can cause detachment issues as well as feelings of rejection that hinder the child’s development. Past studies have also shown that racial socialization affects young African American children’s attitudes and interaction with the world. Racial socialization is the process by which families teach children about the social meanings and consequences of ethnicity and race (Brown et. al 2007). Racial socialization impacts how the child interacts with both their educational and social environment, affecting how they perform in certain tasks. This study hypothesizes a relation among African American mothers’ racial socialization practices and stress. African American children between the ages of 3 and 5 and their mothers were recruited from a local Head Start program in Louisville, KY. The mothers of the children completed the Parenting Stress Index, which assessed levels of stress and dysfunction in the family environment, specifically in the parent-child relationship. The Parent Experience of Racial Socialization asked parents how often they relay specific racial socialization messages to their children. This study is part of a larger study identifying the family environment factors that impact early development in African American children.

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Parents’ Perception of Stress and Their Racial Socialization of African American Children Attending Head Start

Parenting stress can have adverse effects on parent-child interactions, which can later impact a child’s school readiness. High stress in the parent-child relationship can cause detachment issues as well as feelings of rejection that hinder the child’s development. Past studies have also shown that racial socialization affects young African American children’s attitudes and interaction with the world. Racial socialization is the process by which families teach children about the social meanings and consequences of ethnicity and race (Brown et. al 2007). Racial socialization impacts how the child interacts with both their educational and social environment, affecting how they perform in certain tasks. This study hypothesizes a relation among African American mothers’ racial socialization practices and stress. African American children between the ages of 3 and 5 and their mothers were recruited from a local Head Start program in Louisville, KY. The mothers of the children completed the Parenting Stress Index, which assessed levels of stress and dysfunction in the family environment, specifically in the parent-child relationship. The Parent Experience of Racial Socialization asked parents how often they relay specific racial socialization messages to their children. This study is part of a larger study identifying the family environment factors that impact early development in African American children.