Cultural Socialization Attitudes and Behaviors: Examining Mothers’ Centrality, Discrimination Experiences, and Children’s Effortful Control as Moderators

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Objectives: The current study examined whether mothers’ cultural socialization attitudes predicted cultural socialization behaviors. In addition, we tested whether this association was moderated by children’s effortful control, mothers’ ethnic–racial centrality, and mothers’ experiences of ethnic discrimination. Method: Mexican-origin young mothers (N = 181; Mage = 20.97 years) completed the Cultural Socialization Attitudes Measure, a revised version of the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity, the Child Behavior Questionnaire—Very Short Form, and the Perceived Discrimination Scale during an interview and then completed the Cultural Socialization Behaviors Measure a year later. Results: Findings indicated that mothers’ cultural socialization attitudes when their children were 4 years of age positively predicted their cultural socialization behaviors 1 year later. Furthermore, experiencing higher ethnic discrimination strengthened the association between mothers’ cultural socialization attitudes and behaviors. In addition, mothers’ ethnic–racial centrality and children’s effortful control were positively associated with mothers’ cultural socialization behaviors. Conclusions: These findings contribute to the literature by underscoring the role of individual characteristics and context in cultural socialization efforts with young children over time.

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