Early Childrearing Practices and Their Relationship to Academic Performance in Mexican American Children

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To examine whether parenting behaviors and childrearing practices in the first 3 years of life among Mexican American (MA) families predict children's academic performance at school age.


Thirty-six children were assessed using the Parent Behavior Checklist, Nursing Child Assessment Teaching Scale, Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Inventory, and Bayley Scales of Infant Development II. Academic performance was measured with the Illinois Standards Achievement Test during third grade.


Correlation between parents’ developmental expectations, nurturing behaviors, discipline, and academic performance were statistically significant (P < .05). Developmental expectations and discipline strategies predicted 30% of the variance in the Illinois Standards Achievement Test of reading.


The results of this study suggest that early developmental expectations that MA parents have for their children, and the nurturing and discipline behaviors they engage in, are related to how well the children perform on academic tests at school age.

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