Parents’ values and children’s gratitude expression in African American families

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ebony D. Leon (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jonathan Tudge

Abstract: Guided by Ogbu’s and Tudge’s cultural-ecological frameworks, I explored Black parents’ values for their children and parents’ perceptions of their children’s expression of gratitude. The sample consisted of 15 Black parents (14 mothers, 1 father) of elementary aged children (M age ˜ 11.3 years; 40% girls), the majority of whom (87%) had some college education or less. I conducted a narrative analysis of in-home semi-structured interviews with parents. Findings suggested that overall, these Black parents held both other- and self-oriented values for their children. However, some parents expressed wariness of their children being too other-oriented as this may lead them astray from achieving their goals. Linkages between other-oriented values and cultural/religious practices were also evident. As it relates to gratitude expression, children were most likely to express verbal gratitude, followed by concrete gratitude, and lastly, connective gratitude. Instances of failure to express gratitude on the behalf of children were described along with teaching strategies that parents engaged in to help their children become more grateful. Finally, suggestions for future directions and implications for culturally-relevant interventions were discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Black Families, Development, Gratitude, Morality, Parental Values, Social Class
African American families
Gratitude in children
Moral development
Parent and child
Social values

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