Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Child Development

Abstract

This study examined and described the racial and ethnic socialization processes of 15 Haitian immigrant mothers, eight of whom were born and raised in Haiti and migrated to the United States after the age of 21 (Group A) and seven of whom were born and raised in the United States or born in Haiti and migrated on or before the age of the five and raised of the United States (Group B). The two groups of Haitian immigrant mothers were recruited from cities throughout the Northeast region of the United States.

Using Harkness and Super’s Developmental Niche as a theoretical guide, the researcher developed a qualitative interview protocol to assess the three components of this study’s conceptualization of racial and ethnic socialization: (a) Haitian immigrant mothers’ racial and ethnic messages and practices; (b) role the place in which the mothers were born and raised plays in their racial and ethnic socialization messages and practices; and (c) the factors that influence the mothers’ racial and ethnic socialization messages and practices.

Constructive grounded theory procedures were used to find themes and patterns of racial and ethnic socialization within the two groups of Haitian immigrant mothers and to identify similarities and differences among the two groups. The results from this study reveal that racial and ethnic socialization are processes of child development that are intricately related to the culture in which the family lives. Haitian immigrant mothers in Group A had similar racial socialization messages and practices to the Haitian immigrant mothers in Group B; however, the two groups differed greatly in their ethnic socialization

messages and practices. Their messages and practices were influenced by the lessons they learned from their parents and the experiences that they had with race and ethnicity in Haiti and in the United States. In addition, being born and raised in Haiti and in the United States dictated the social contexts that Haitian immigrant mothers in Group A and Group B were exposed to, which shaped their understanding of and beliefs about race and ethnicity, their racial and ethnic identity, and the racial and ethnic identity they prescribed to their children.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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