Parenting within residential neighborhoods: A pluralistic approach with African American and Latino families at the center

Dawn P. Witherspoon, Emily M. May, Ashley McDonald, Saskia Boggs, M. Bámaca-Colbert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


The intersection of SES and race-ethnicity impact youth development at the family and neighborhood levels. The confluence of neighborhood structural and social characteristics intersects to impact parenting multiple ways. Within lower-income neighborhoods, there is variability in economic and racial-ethnic demographics and social characteristics and a multitude of different lived experiences. We use a person-centered approach to understand how a plurality of neighborhood social characteristics shape parents’ ethnic-racial socialization and monitoring strategies, normative parenting practices for diverse families. With 144 African American and Latino families in a new destination context—areas lacking an enduring historical and economic presence of same-ethnic populations—we examined whether we could replicate neighborhood profiles found in other neighborhood contexts using four neighborhood social process indicators (i.e., connectedness, cohesion and trust, informal social control, and problems), identified family- and neighborhood-level predictors of profiles, and explored differences in ethnic-racial socialization and parental monitoring knowledge by profile. We replicated three neighborhood profiles—integral (high on all positive social dynamics and low problems), anomic (low on all positive social dynamics and high problems), and high problems/positive relationships. Caregivers in these profiles differed in family SES and neighborhood disadvantage such that those in anomic neighborhoods had the lowest income-to-needs ratio whereas those in integral neighborhoods experienced the highest neighborhood disadvantage and lowest proportion of Hispanic residents. Egalitarianism, an ethnic-racial socialization message, and parental monitoring levels differed by neighborhood. Findings suggest African American and Latino families’ unique experiences in a new destination context, signaling a complex interplay between race-ethnicity, SES, and place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChild Development at the Intersection of Race and SES
EditorsDaphne A. Henry, Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal, Portia Miller
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages45
ISBN (Print)9780128176467
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
ISSN (Print)0065-2407

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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