School & District Management

Early Learning Practices in Immigrant Families

By Lesli A. Maxwell — September 11, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Immigrant Mexican mothers report stable home environments and strong mental health, but are less likely to read to their young children than American-born white mothers.

Meanwhile, immigrant Chinese mothers are more likely to read to their young children than American-born white mothers, but report more household conflict and weaker mental health.

These insights into how families function in immigrant households in the United States come from a new study that examines how migration history, cultural practices, and social class impact social-emotional development and early learning practices in homes with young children. The findings challenge some of the conventional thinking on the disadvantages for children born into immigrant families.

For example, the researchers found that low-income Latino immigrant families often display parenting skills that contribute to strong social-emotional development in children and may counter the negative impacts of poverty. Specifically, Mexican-heritage mothers reported fewer conflicts with spouses and fewer depressive symptoms than their peers who were native-born whites and Asian-born immigrants.

These same households, however, were far less likely to report reading with their children. Mexican-origin mothers read with their preschool-age child 70 percent less frequently than native-born white peers, and 83 percent less frequently than Chinese-origin mothers. The Latino immigrant mothers overall had lower education levels, had higher ratios of children per adult in their homes, and were more likely to work outside the home.

The study’s authors are Sunyoung Jung from the University of Inchon in Korea, Bruce Fuller from the University of California, Berkeley, and Claudia Galindo from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Their findings were published today in the journal Child Development. The researchers used data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Early Childhood Longitudinal Study that included more than 5,000 immigrant Latino, immigrant Asian, and American-born white mothers and their preschool children.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Reported Essay Principals Need Social-Emotional Support, Too
By overlooking the well-being of their school leaders, districts could limit how much their schools can flourish.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management From Our Research Center Educator Stress, Anti-Racism, and Pandemic Response: How You're Feeling
A new nationally representative survey offers key takeaways from teachers, principals, and district leaders.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
2021 BI COVER no text DATA crop
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Download 8 Tips for Building a Digital Learning Plan That Conquers Chaos
Craft flexible strategies, encourage experimentation with new instructional models, and regularly solicit feedback.
1 min read
onsr edtech tips
Getty
School & District Management Opinion New Polling Shows the K-12 COVID Fights Aren’t Going Anywhere
Teachers, administrators, and school boards will continue to be squeezed between two angry, distrustful camps when it comes to COVID-19.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty