What Does Latino Parenting Look Like Today?


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From mental health to education and preparing children for adulthood, moms and dads have a lot to think about with how they parent.

In fact, 40% of parents with children younger than 18 say they are extremely or very worried that their children might struggle with anxiety or depression at some point, according to the new Parenting in America Today report from the Pew Research Center.

Parents worries stem from the rise of a youth mental health crisis and the compounding stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, which deeply impacted Latinos.

Let’s explore the full report on parenting and how it impacts Latinos!

The Top Parental Concern

Mental health is the top concern for parents, according to the Pew report.

That worry is felt “more acutely” by Latino parents.

“42% of White parents and 43% of Hispanic parents say they are extremely or very worried their children might struggle with anxiety or depression at some point, compared with 32% of Black parents and 28% of Asian parents,” according to the report.

Latino parents also are more likely than others to worry about their children’s physical safety, teen pregnancy, problems with drugs and alcohol – and everything else.

“Hispanic parents are more likely than White, Black and Asian parents to worry about their children facing nearly every issue asked about in the survey, including bullying, problems with drugs and alcohol, teen pregnancy and certain physical threats,” according to the report

Differing Parenting Styles

When it comes to their identity, 38% of Latino parents say that being a parent is the most important aspect of who they are, a higher percentage than White and Asian parents.

59% of Latino parents reported that they are doing “at least a very good job” as parents.

Many parents look to raise their children differently than how they were raised.

In reflecting on how they’re raising their own children compared with how they were raised, 32% of Latino parents are doing it similarly, while 53% are raising their children “very/somewhat different.”

“There is less consensus when it comes to other aspects of parenting styles, but some interesting differences emerge. Hispanic parents (36%) are more likely than White (24%), Black (25%) and Asian (21%) parents to say they praise their children too much rather than criticizing them too much,” the report said.

41% of Latino parents say they feel judged by certain people for how they parent their children, and 37% feel judged by their spouse or partner’s parents at least sometimes, according to the report.

But, for the most part, parents across racial and ethnic groups find being a parent to be enjoyable.

“Black and Hispanic parents are more likely than White and Asian parents to say [being a parent is enjoyable] all of the time,” according to the report.

Parental Challenges

Latino parents were among the most likely to worry about challenges their kids may face including:

Courtesy of the Pew Research Center
  • Being bullied (48%), compared to 31% of white parents
  • Being kidnapped or abducted (43%), compared to 21% of white parents
  • Getting beaten up or attacked (44%), compared to 16% of white parents
  • Having problems with drugs or alcohol (41%), compared to 18% of white parents
  • Getting shot (42%), compared to 12% of white parents
  • Getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant as a teenager (29%), compared to 10% of white parents

Mothers are more likely to worry about these issues then fathers.

Among Latino parents, those who are “foreign born” are reportedly more likely than those who were born in the U.S. are extremely/very concerned about nearly all of the items included in the survey.

“The only exception is on concerns about mental health: 46% of foreign-born and 39% of U.S.-born Hispanic parents are extremely or very concerned about this, a difference that is not statistically significant,” according to the report.

Parental Aspirations

The Pew report also found differences in parent’s aspirations for their children.

Overall, 88% of the parents surveyed prioritized financial independence and job satisfaction for their children when they reach adulthood.

Higher education is also a priority for Latino parents.

57% of Latino parents prioritized the importance of their children graduating from college.

“While parents in different income groups have different concerns, they largely share similar goals and aspirations for their children, with large majorities of lower-, middle- and upper-income,” according to the report.

Latino Parent Strengths

Despite some challenges in parenting, Latino parents also have many strengths.

Factors like biculturalism in parents “can be promotive of better parenting behaviors, which are, in turn, related to better outcomes in children,” according to a Salud America! resource.

An analysis from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families also highlights the strengths of Latino parents.

Latina mothers were found to have low levels of negative parenting behaviors and high levels of emotional support.

Latino fathers are highly committed to their children and involved in their lives long-term, according to the analysis.

“Parents who support each other in their parenting roles are more likely to have fewer conflicts and to show more supportive and responsive parenting, both of which are important for children’s development,” according to the analysis.

Analyzing Strengths in Your Community

There’s no doubt that the health of your family is important, but what about the health of your community?

With the Salud America! Health Equity Report Card, you can analyze a variety of health-related issues in your area including health care, poverty, housing, and food.

Select your county name and get a customized Report Card that auto-generates local data that can help you explore health inequities.

See how your community stacks up against other counties across the state and the nation!


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