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

Feb 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: Couples need just one conversation to decide not to have children

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Divorce may widen distance between teens, fathers

Jan 09, 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

Residents of 'boom time' suburbs face unsustainable commutes

20 hours ago

People living in the 'boom time' suburbs of Dublin are more likely to endure unsustainable commutes to work than those living in older accommodation. Research shows that people living in newly constructed housing in the Greater ...

Male-biased tweeting

Apr 23, 2014

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Google+ boss leaving the company

The executive credited with bringing the Google+ social network to life is leaving the Internet colossus after playing a key role there for nearly eight years.