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The role of ethnicity and socioeconomic status in Southeast Asian mothers’ parenting sensitivity

The role of ethnicity and socioeconomic status in Southeast Asian mothers’ parenting sensitivity
The role of ethnicity and socioeconomic status in Southeast Asian mothers’ parenting sensitivity

Past research indicates that socioeconomic status (SES) accounts for differences in sensitivity across ethnic groups. However, comparatively little work has been conducted in Asia, with none examining whether ethnicity moderates the relation between SES and sensitivity. We assessed parenting behavior in 293 Singaporean citizen mothers of 6-month olds (153 Chinese, 108 Malay, 32 Indian) via the Maternal Behavioral Q-Sort for video interactions. When entered into the same model, SES (F(1,288) = 17.777, p <.001), but not ethnicity, predicted maternal sensitivity (F(2,288) =.542, p =.582). However, this positive relation between SES and sensitivity was marginally moderated by ethnicity. SES significantly positively predicted sensitivity in Chinese, but not Malay dyads. Within Indian dyads, SES marginally positively predicted sensitivity only when permanent residents were included in analyses. We discuss the importance of culture on perceived SES-associated stress. However, because few university-educated Malays participated, we also consider whether university education, specifically, positively influences sensitivity.

Asian, ethnicity, income, maternal education, Maternal sensitivity
1461-6734
24-42
Heng, Jeremy
caa1fe71-448e-4870-a392-21e01ccb45cd
Quan, Jeffry
4b5bba2f-aa5e-41bc-a81e-885480ab6b21
Sim, Lit Wee
9f970598-1b44-4119-87a4-8f76b7ebf6bc
Sanmugam, Shamini
ba8f37f6-f251-48d0-8e75-49be601decd3
Broekman, Birit
a0d96900-4c12-42ee-94a5-bf315ce705c1
Bureau, Jean François
aba9a642-5c9f-4801-9f80-8533876c23bf
Meaney, Michael J.
5c6db45a-1f5b-4e1f-8c0b-07a8f7b29f66
Holbrook, Joanna D.
69989b79-2710-4f12-946e-c6214e1b6513
Rifkin-Graboi, Anne
af440bed-c49d-4417-93b3-2243c8a2f1a8
Heng, Jeremy
caa1fe71-448e-4870-a392-21e01ccb45cd
Quan, Jeffry
4b5bba2f-aa5e-41bc-a81e-885480ab6b21
Sim, Lit Wee
9f970598-1b44-4119-87a4-8f76b7ebf6bc
Sanmugam, Shamini
ba8f37f6-f251-48d0-8e75-49be601decd3
Broekman, Birit
a0d96900-4c12-42ee-94a5-bf315ce705c1
Bureau, Jean François
aba9a642-5c9f-4801-9f80-8533876c23bf
Meaney, Michael J.
5c6db45a-1f5b-4e1f-8c0b-07a8f7b29f66
Holbrook, Joanna D.
69989b79-2710-4f12-946e-c6214e1b6513
Rifkin-Graboi, Anne
af440bed-c49d-4417-93b3-2243c8a2f1a8

Heng, Jeremy, Quan, Jeffry, Sim, Lit Wee, Sanmugam, Shamini, Broekman, Birit, Bureau, Jean François, Meaney, Michael J., Holbrook, Joanna D. and Rifkin-Graboi, Anne (2018) The role of ethnicity and socioeconomic status in Southeast Asian mothers’ parenting sensitivity. Attachment and Human Development, 20 (1), 24-42. (doi:10.1080/14616734.2017.1365912).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Past research indicates that socioeconomic status (SES) accounts for differences in sensitivity across ethnic groups. However, comparatively little work has been conducted in Asia, with none examining whether ethnicity moderates the relation between SES and sensitivity. We assessed parenting behavior in 293 Singaporean citizen mothers of 6-month olds (153 Chinese, 108 Malay, 32 Indian) via the Maternal Behavioral Q-Sort for video interactions. When entered into the same model, SES (F(1,288) = 17.777, p <.001), but not ethnicity, predicted maternal sensitivity (F(2,288) =.542, p =.582). However, this positive relation between SES and sensitivity was marginally moderated by ethnicity. SES significantly positively predicted sensitivity in Chinese, but not Malay dyads. Within Indian dyads, SES marginally positively predicted sensitivity only when permanent residents were included in analyses. We discuss the importance of culture on perceived SES-associated stress. However, because few university-educated Malays participated, we also consider whether university education, specifically, positively influences sensitivity.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 7 August 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 August 2017
Published date: 2 January 2018
Keywords: Asian, ethnicity, income, maternal education, Maternal sensitivity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417411
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417411
ISSN: 1461-6734
PURE UUID: df945d12-f77b-4111-81ee-2e65fa645721
ORCID for Joanna D. Holbrook: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1791-6894

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 31 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 31 Jan 2018 17:30

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Contributors

Author: Jeremy Heng
Author: Jeffry Quan
Author: Lit Wee Sim
Author: Shamini Sanmugam
Author: Birit Broekman
Author: Jean François Bureau
Author: Michael J. Meaney
Author: Anne Rifkin-Graboi

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