Research suggests that higher levels of authoritarian parenting exist in African American (AA) families than in European American (EA) families, and that authoritarian attitudes may be associated with more positive outcomes in AA families than EA families. However, less is known about authoritarian attitudes and children’s development within AA families. This within-group study of 50 African American mothers and their 3-year-old children examined associations between maternal authoritarian attitudes, observed maternal limit-setting strategies, and children’s self-regulation during a limit-setting interaction. The findings indicate that while AA families may hold more authoritarian attitudes than EA families, the direction of effect of authoritarian attitudes on children’s outcomes appears to be the same in both ethnic groups. In this sample, when examining AA authoritarian attitudes relative to those of other AA mothers, less or lower authoritarian attitudes were associated with authoritative limit-setting behavior (firm limits within the context of overall warmth and responsiveness) and better children’s self-regulation.
- African American
- Ethnic diversity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies