Resilience in Latin American Immigrant Families in Toronto: Defining the Roles of Parenting and Culture in Promoting Healthy Child Development
Hamel, Kayla Gabrielle
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Although Latin Americans are among the fastest-growing immigrant groups in Canada, there is a lack of data on family mental health and child developmental outcomes in this community. The current study uses quantitative, qualitative and observational measures to produce a representation of the culture-specific family strengths and risks faced by a sample of 34 Latin American mother-infant dyads and compares how a range of parenting behaviours differentially relate to child development across three major cultural groups in Toronto. Authoritative parenting was found to predict higher scores of child socio-emotional development, an effect which differs by cultural group. Within the Latin American sample, the traditional cultural belief familism was found to be associated with higher scores of authoritative parenting, and decreased with increasing host culture affiliation. Qualitative data highlights cultural variability in parenting and resilient parenting practices of this group. Clinical and research implications are discussed.