Minority mothers' behavior toward their developmentally delayed children
Jung, Brunilda Brandi
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This was an exploratory study that sought to obtain information regarding the effect of ethnicity on maternal attitudes and child-rearing behavior. Because of the exploratory nature of the study, no firm hypotheses were formulated. However, it was expected that maternal ethnicity would prove to be a more serious variable than being the mother of a developmentally delayed (DD) child. Due to this expectation, culture-specific maternal attitudinal and behavioral differences were anticipated.;The population sample consisted of biological mothers (N = 72) of developmentally delayed children, who ranged in age from 3 to 12 years old. The sample was stratified by maternal ethnicity and the mothers were assigned to one of four groups: Hispanic (n = 20), Black (n = 20), Anglo (n = 17) and Asian (n = 15).;Data for this study were obtained through the following three sources: (1) a Demographic and Personal Information (DPI) questionnaire, (2) the Maternal Child Rearing Behavior (MCRB) questionnaire and (3) a listing of the DD children's developmental delays and relevant medical/educational information. The MCRB and the DPI were administered by phone interview to all mothers who were fluent in either English or Spanish. The Asian mothers requiring the services of an interpreter were interviewed in person.;The data obtained through the interviews were subjected to SPSS-X statistical analyses. These procedures included: (1) frequency distributions, (2) descriptive statistics, (3) chi squares, one- and two-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs), (4) t- tests and (5) correlational analyses.;The results of these analyses indicated that ethnicity is a salient factor in determining or influencing mothers' attitudes and child-rearing behavior towards their developmentally delayed children. Although the parenting of a DD child is a different experience for mothers, who will be influenced by factors, such as SES and degree of acculturation, this study strongly suggests that the mothers' cultural background will have a strong influence on how they respond to being the mothers of DD children. The manner in which mothers perceive, rear and care for their DD children will be influenced by their cultural frames of reference.