Latino Cultural Guide
Building Capacity to Strengthen the Well-Being of
Immigrant Families and Their Children: A Prevention Strategy This is intended as an overview of selected highlights of items that are critical to understanding children and family environments of Latino immigrant groups. Through research and field interviews, the following represents general themes for the Latino culture and family dynamics. It is not meant to be exhaustive or representative of every family or group. Each family and child is coming from a unique and particular experience and should be approached in this way.
of parenting practices
Above all, Latino parents want their children to be
safe and protected. This may be particularly true
of recent immigrants who are bewildered by all the
potential dangers of their new country. Studies have
shown that less-educated mothers rely more on
authoritarian parenting, and there is a relationship
between education and parenting styles.
Parent and child nurturing
and attachment styles
Latino parents tend to exhibit both greater
intimacy and more protective behaviors and
strictness than non-Hispanic whites.
Expectations of child development
At home, adolescents live in a traditional cultural
environment where, although children, they face
economic demands that often force them to take
on adult roles. Their peer group also is closely
monitored by parents and limited to a few friends
whose parents share similar values, including
those on virginity, submissiveness, and family
fidelity. Parental overprotection highlights the
belief that the degrees of social success for Latino
adolescents in this critical phase of development
will ultimately determine the total family’s success
in the new society.
Attitudes in seeking
health care for children
Studies focusing on early intervention and health
services found that Latino families may lack
familiarity with these service systems and may...
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Fontes, Lisa. (2002). Child Discipline and Physical Abuse in immigrant Latino families: Reducing violence and misunderstandings. Journal of Counseling
and Development, 80, 31-40.
Orellana, M.F. (2003). Responsibilities of children in Latino immigrant homes. New Directions for Youth Development, 100, 25-39.
Quinones-Mayo, Y. & Dempsey, P. (2005). Finding the bicultural balance: Immigrant Latino mothers raising “American” adolescents. Child Welfare
League of America, 84 (5), 649-667.
Rice-Rodriguez, T. & Boyle, D. (2007). Culturally competent practice with Latino families. Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services.
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