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Citation:Reese, L. (2002). Parental strategies in contrasting cultural settings: Families in Mexico and ÒEl NorteÓ. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 33(1), 31-59. EJ651500.

The purpose of this research study is to examine ways in which Latino parents work to foster positive outcomes for their children, in and out of school, while identifying its findings within a broader discussion of changes in cultural models that can inform educational practice. The study compares child-rearing practices and values of immigrants from Mexico raising their children in the United States, with the immigrantsÕ siblings who remain in Mexico and bring a similar set of values to the task of raising their children in home-country settings. Parents in both settings espoused similar values with regard to child rearing. There were differences in the economic and cultural niches in which families lived that resulted in different accommodations on the parts of parents and children. In Mexico, secondary schooling was beyond the means of many families, thus many children stopped their schooling at the end of elementary school. Also, perceptions of safety resulted in parents being stricter and exercising a greater degree of control over girls than boys in both settings. In the area of school involvement, families in both cultural contexts were somewhat involved in school activities and supported schoolwork. In the United States, siblings and fathers were significantly more likely to help with homework because the mothers often did not understand English. This study implies that relevant teaching must be broad enough to include variations in home practices and expectations, home-country experiences, and child outcomes.

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