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Low-income Central American immigrant mothers' goals and their children's classroom competencies in preschool

Unlike other Latino groups, there is little information about the early socialization of children from Central American (CA) immigrant families. This study examined CA immigrant mothers' short-term goals and the implications of these goals for children's behavior in preschool. A total of 47 low-income mothers described their goals for their children's behavior at home/with family and at school. Nearly all mothers described relatedness-oriented goals for their children at home and at school. Mothers emphasized autonomy-oriented goals predominantly for the school context. Mothers' emphases on certain goals in the home, but not goals for school, predicted teacher reports of children's social cooperation and approaches to learning in the classroom. Practice or Policy: Educators should be aware that relatedness-oriented goals are highly salient for CA immigrant parents. Immigrant parents might benefit from more information regarding the general goals of preschool. Educators should encourage mothers to set multiple early goals for their children, including learning-related goals for home. Educators and CA immigrant parents may support home-school continuity for children through mutual understanding of goals and values. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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