The Role of Young Mothers' Early Ethnic-Racial Socialization in Children's School Readiness
Mariah Contreras

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Tufts University

Primary Discipline

Early Childhood Education
The proposed study is embedded in the Healthy Families Massachusetts Evaluation (MHFE) at Tufts University, a statewide randomized control trial of Healthy Families Massachusetts (HFM), an adolescent parent home visiting program (N=705). The applicant seeks to understand young mothers? diverse early parenting behaviors, i.e., ethnic-racial socialization (ERS), and investigate the extent to which these behaviors are adaptive in promoting school readiness for children. Given its place within a program evaluation, the study will also seek to understand whether these behaviors help explain the relation between home visiting program and distal program goals of child well-being. The specific aims are: 1) to establish young mothers? use of early ERS practices and assess the extent to which practices vary across maternal, child, and context characteristics; 2) to examine the relation between mother?s early ERS behaviors and children?s school readiness; and 3) to examine whether ERS behaviors mediate the relation between HFM program and distal goals. The study will draw data from a MHFE follow-up study (N=200) currently underway. Initial analyses will examine quantitative cross-group comparisons of ERS behaviors. Next, confirmatory factor analyses and path models will be employed in a structural equation modeling framework to first understand direct and mediating relations between ERS and school readiness and then explore group differences. The proposed study?s findings will help address unknown links between early ethnic-racial socialization and current, pervasive ethnic/racial disparities in child school readiness. It will also offer parenting programs knowledge of young mothers? adaptive parenting behaviors worthy of promoting in program implementation.
About Mariah Contreras

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