Title page for ETD etd-05202010-184833

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Perez Rivera, Marie Belle
Author's Email Address mbperez@vt.edu
URN etd-05202010-184833
Title Dichos and Consejos, Ethnic Identity, and Emotion Socialization in Latina Mothers
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dunsmore, Julie C. Committee Chair
Axsom, Daniel K. Committee Member
Bell, Martha Ann Committee Member
Cooper, Robin K. Panneton Committee Member
Gillman, Laura J. Committee Member
  • Dichos/ consejos
  • Emotion Socialization
  • Latina
  • Ethnic identity
Date of Defense 2010-05-12
Availability restricted
Dichos and consejos, the messages passed on intergenerationally within Latino communities, are an influential aspect of Latino culture. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between ethnic identity and Latina mothers’ interpretations of dichos/ consejos. I also investigated if and how ethnic identity and/ or interpretations of dichos and consejos predicted Latina mothers’ emotion socialization beliefs and behaviors. Further, I explored whether maternal education was associated with ethnic identity, interpretations of dichos/consejos, and emotion socialization. Forty Latina mothers of daughters aged 4 – 12 years participated by completing questionnaires on their demographics, ethnic identity, and emotion socialization beliefs and behaviors. Mothers also engaged in a 15-minute interview to assess their interpretations of dichos and consejos. Correlations showed that ethnic identity was not significantly related to interpretations of dichos/consejos. Both ethnic identity and traditionality in helpful dichos were associated with stronger belief that emotions can be dangerous, which in turn was related to both supportive and non-supportive reactions to daughters’ negative emotions. Mothers with less education reported stronger beliefs that emotions can be dangerous, more supportive and non-supportive reactions to daughters’ negative emotions, and greater likelihood of using more traditional non-helpful dichos to advise other mothers. Regression analyses demonstrated that ethnic identity predicted mothers’ belief that emotions can be dangerous even after controlling for maternal education and number of children in the family. After controlling for maternal education, there was a trend for mothers who passed on more traditional non-helpful dichos to their daughters to react in less supportive ways to their daughters’ negative emotions. Results suggest that understanding Latina women’s ethnic identity and social location will be helpful for researchers and educators seeking to assess and promote culturally sensitive emotion socialization practices.

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