Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Judith Becker Bryant, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Ellis Gesten, Ph.D.

Keywords

Familismo, Respeto, Proper demeanor, Youth, Latino, Culturally sensitive

Abstract

The ultimate goal of this research was to provide a tool to adequately examine the relationship that parenting style has with Hispanic youths' academic and behavioral outcomes. A review of the literature reveals that the field is lacking an appropriate, culturally sensitive, paper-and-pencil measure of parenting of Hispanic adolescents with adolescents reporting on their parents' behavior. Current measures were not developed with Hispanic families in mind, but rather were evaluated for use with Hispanic populations after the development phase. Therefore, the current study sought to fill this gap in the research on parenting by constructing a measure of parenting that was not only culturally sensitive in its use, but also culturally sensitive in its development. This study consisted of three phases, each using a Hispanic-only sample. First, 4 group interviews informed the item content and development of this new scale.

Four focus groups consisted of 4-7 parents each, and 6 focus groups consisted of 6-8 middle school adolescents each. The information collected in the focus groups was used to develop 60 items intended to measure parenting behaviors in Hispanic families.In the second phase, 314 Hispanic students completed the new 60-item scale. Reliability estimates, item analyses and factor analyses were conducted to reduce the items to a total of 32 items and to determine emerging factors. In the final phase, 131 Hispanic students completed the revised 32-item scale and 105 of these students were retained for the analyses. Regression equations were used to predict academic and behavioral outcomes, and the new reduced-item parenting scale was compared to an established parenting scale originally developed for majority non-Hispanic American culture. Analyses also explored the new measure's relationship with acculturation, ethnic identity, SES, and generational status.

The new 32-item measure provided unique information above and beyond the established parenting measure when predicting Global Self-Worth, suggesting that the new measure may better capture the relationship between parenting and student outcomes. On the other hand, future studies need to address methodological limitations of this study by using a larger sample size and increasing sample heterogeneity while maintaining consistency in demographic variables across within-study samples.

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