Profiles of Culturally Salient Positive Parenting Practices Among Urban-Residing Black Head Start Families

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Objectives: To better understand within-group variability in positive parenting practices among low-income Black families, the present study, grounded in a multidimensional comparative framework, examined (a) patterns of positive parenting practices among U.S.-born African American parents and Black Caribbean immigrant parents and (b) the extent to which these patterns related to parents’ daily family social support, parents’ social sensitivities, and children’s social-emotional outcomes. Method: A person-oriented approach was employed with data from 524 African American and Black Caribbean immigrant parents (mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts/uncles) of preschool-aged children in Head Start. Results: Multistage hierarchical cluster analysis revealed that although the best solution for both ethnic groups was a 5-profile solution, the particular profiles that emerged across the 2 groups were distinct. Further, different parenting practices were salient among the ‘high positive parenting’ profiles and ‘low positive parenting’ for African Americans and Caribbean immigrants. In addition, demographic factors (education, gender, and marital status) differentially related to patterns of positive parenting across the 2 ethnic groups, and these patterns of parenting were associated with children’s social emotional development and parenting resources in meaningful ways. Conclusions: Findings underscore the importance of conducting within-group studies that examine variability across ethnocultural groups identified as belonging to the same racial group. Indeed, there was variation in the manifestations of positive parenting within and across the ethnic groups included in this study (i.e., African Americans and Caribbean immigrants) that can inform future research and practice.

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