Mixed-race youth feel less cohesion with mothers, but greater independence

February 27, 2013
Mixed-race youth feel less cohesion with mothers, but greater independence

(Phys.org)—Multiethnic and mixed-race youth feel less satisfied with their moms—but more independent—compared to other youth, according to a new University of Michigan study.

U-M researcher Elma Lorenzo-Blanco and colleagues compared parenting and family-related experiences between multiethnic/mixed-race youth and those from one racial/.

Data came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which included responses from nearly 9,000 12- to 17-year-olds. Teens and were first sampled in 1997 and assessed annually in several areas—such as education, , mental health and /events—until 2008.

The youth assessed the quality of mother-adolescent and father-adolescent relationships, as well as parental monitoring, support and control.

Mixed-race youth had the lowest mean score and white youth the highest for mother-adolescent relationships and maternal support, the study showed. For father-adolescent relationships, African-American youth had the lowest score, while whites had the highest.

Mothers may be more affected by parenting challenges because they may spend more time with children and/or feel a greater sense of responsibility for their children's welfare compared to men—due to gendered parenting roles and expectations, said Lorenzo-Blanco, a U-M in psychology and women's studies.

And if these additional parenting responsibilities take a toll on the mother's well-being, this "may hinder their ability to respond to their children's needs and form closer bonds with them," she said.

Mixed-race youth also indicated their parents exerted less control than other ethnic groups surveyed and reported the lowest score for daily family routines.

"Altogether, these findings may indicate that mixed race/multiethnic youth may generally experience less cohesion with and support from their mothers (but not fathers)," Lorenzo-Blanco said.

Parents of mixed-race children may feel helpless in effectively supporting their children if they don't experience the same racial issues as their children, she said.

"Parents may only be learning to cope with their own feelings of inadequacy as parents of mixed-race/multiethnic children, let alone being able to effectively guide their ," Lorenzo-Blanco said.

Explore further: Divorce may widen distance between teens, fathers

More information: The findings appear in the current issue of Family Relations: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2012.00751.x/full

Related Stories

Divorce may widen distance between teens, fathers

January 9, 2008

The typical distancing from parents by adolescents is exacerbated by divorce for fathers, but not for mothers, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Recommended for you

Amateur paleontologist finds rare fossil of fish in Arizona

September 3, 2015

Growing up, Stephanie Leco often would dig in her backyard and imagine finding fossils of a tyrannosaurus rex. She was fascinated with the idea of holding something in her hand that was millions of years old and would give ...

X-rays reveal fossil secrets

September 3, 2015

A sophisticated imaging technique has allowed scientists to virtually peer inside a 10-million-year-old sea urchin, uncovering a treasure trove of hidden fossils.

Early human diet explains our eating habits

August 31, 2015

Much attention is being given to what people ate in the distant past as a guide to what we should eat today. Advocates of the claimed palaeodiet recommend that we should avoid carbohydrates and load our plates with red meat ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.