Childbearing perspectives of Black American and Puerto Rican adolescent mothers
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This study was designed to explore the parental childrearing perspectives of Black American and Puerto Rican adolescent mothers and their own mothers. Additionally, it gathered information about the reactions of the grandmothers towards their daughter's pregnancy and motherhood.;Thirty one pairs of adolescent mothers and their own mothers were interviewed. Fifteen of these pairs identified themselves and were identified as Black Americans and the other sixteen identified themselves and were identified as Hispanics of Puerto Rican background. Three questionnaires exploring developmental expectations, childrearing attitudes and maternal perceptions about the influence of childrearing practices in baby's development were administered to the two generations of mothers. Each adolescent mother, in addition, answered a demographic questionnaire and each grandmother responded to the Mother of Adolescent Mothers Questionnaire.;Results of this study revealed significant findings concerning ethnic differentials within the adolescent mothers' as well as the grandmothers' generation. First, they suggested that adolescent mothers in both ethnic groups tended to exhibit developmental expectations, childrearing attitudes and maternal perceptions about the influence of childrearing practices similar to those of their mothers. Particularly, this tendency to identify with their own mothers became more apparent in areas concerning decision making such as what, how and when to do it when bringing up a baby. Second, they indicated that in spite of their similarities in age and socioeconomic status, low income Black American adolescent mothers evidenced childrearing views closer to mainstream American culture than Puerto Rican adolescent mothers. Third, they showed that Black grandmothers tended to exhibit greater acceptance towards the adolescent mother's pregnancy and motherhood and more satisfaction with their new role.;The discussion and interpretation of these findings focused on the close ties between ethnicity and the concept of acculturation to the mainstream culture. In this connection, these research findings suggest that the responses of the two generations of Black American adolescent mothers and grandmothers seem to be congruent with their greater level of acculturation to mainstream American culture as reflected by their better command of the English language, their more extended exposure to the educational system and their more active participation in the different spheres of the social system.