Parenting while Latine: Bicultural Socialization Values and Practices in Support of Preschool Children’s Well-being

Wendy Ochoa, Christine M. McWayne, Gigliana Melzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children’s early socialization shapes their development and well-being. To date, research examining the socialization of preschool-aged Latine children remains limited, and primarily focused on immigrant, Spanish-speaking families. Given the heterogeneity in language(s) spoken, nativity, and education within Latine families, the present study used focus groups among 112 Latine families of children attending Head Start to understand and compare salient parenting beliefs, attitudes, and self-reported practices as they pertained to supporting their children’s development among both English- and Spanish-speaking caregivers. Results showed that English- and Spanish-speaking caregivers viewed their children’s bicultural socialization as critical to supporting their development. Caregivers actively socialized their children to be bicultural through an emphasis on two superordinate goals: fostering bilingualism and simultaneous transmission of heritage and US values. Although caregivers across groups shared many of the same beliefs, attitudes, and practices concerning bilingualism and transmission of values (respeto, egalitarian gender roles), differences were also found. Specifically, ethnic pride was more salient for caregivers in the English than Spanish groups, and the value of familismo was only discussed in the English groups. Additionally, caregivers in the English and Spanish focus groups described experiencing different language-related challenges that undermined their efforts to raise bicultural children. These findings can inform future efforts seeking to support low-income, Latine families reach the goals they have for their children from a culturally and contextually informed lens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3999-4014
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Bicultural socialization
  • Head Start
  • Latinx/e
  • Parenting
  • Preschool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Parenting while Latine: Bicultural Socialization Values and Practices in Support of Preschool Children’s Well-being'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this