The negotiation of parenting beliefs by Mexican American mothers and fathers of young children


Guided by dialogical self theory, our purpose was to extend past research on the parenting beliefs of Mexican American parents. In this qualitative study, we analyze the dialoguing associated with the main beliefs of 13 Mexican-origin mothers and fathers, most of whom are second-generation. Of the seven main parenting beliefs identified by parents, three - speaking Spanish, fostering respect, and encouraging gratitude - were characterized by dialoguing that strongly connected to the values of their Mexican heritage. An additional three - promoting education, parental involvement, and showing affection - were associated with dialoguing that differentiated from the values and practices of their own parents. A final belief about discipline was more complex, evidencing an ongoing negotiation of Mexican and US values and practices. We propose that this dialogical approach offers a useful framework for future research on parents' negotiation of multiple cultural traditions in creating their beliefs and goals related to parenting.


Childhood Education and Family Studies

Document Type





parenting beliefs, Mexican-American parents, mothers and fathers, interviews, qualitative, dialogical analysis

Publication Date


Recommended Citation

Rojas-McWhinney, Jennifer, and Nancy J. Bell. "The negotiation of parenting beliefs by Mexican American mothers and fathers of young children." Journal of Family Studies 23, no. 1 (2017): 19-37.

Journal Title

Journal of Family Studies