Better Mothers, Smarter Children? Low-Income Mothers’ Experiences with Parenting Education
Maia Cucchiara

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Temple University

Primary Discipline

Parenting programs—a response to the stark and enduring gap in achievement between middle-class and low-income students—aim to instill in poor parents the knowledge and behaviors that will lead to academic success for their children. This ethnographic study will use a sociological lens to explore low-income mothers’ experiences in parenting programs and how their social contexts, kinship networks, and the constraints they face affect their willingness and ability to implement parenting “best practices.” The behaviors parenting programs promote are associated with greater school readiness, but the existence of alternative models of parenting and the challenges of changing deeply rooted beliefs suggest tensions inherent to parent education programs that need to be explored. By examining the intersections between these programs and mothers’ experiences, this project will answer important, previously unasked, questions about an educational intervention that affects thousands of families.
About Maia Cucchiara

Pin It on Pinterest