Familism and Elementary School Children

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Abstract

While there is a sizable body of literature substantiating the significance of family values such as familism for Latino families, most research has focused on Mexican families or Latinos living in the US mainland. Research is needed to examine specific factors of familism among Puerto Rican families living on the island. The principal objective of the current study was to explore familism, with a specific emphasis on the influence on young school children. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological framework guided the study, where 10 married or cohabiting women were interviewed using a semi-structured qualitative approach. Mothers provided information about their perceptions of values, familism, parents as models to instill values, and contributions of teachers to child’s values. Findings demonstrated that familism is related to children's positive academic experience/achievement. Some exceptions were found regarding family relationships and a child’s education. The study promotes discussion and further exploration about unique perspectives in family values.