Presentation Title

Maternal Familism in Mexican-American Women as a Predictor of Fear in Preschool-aged Children

Faculty Mentor

Kimberly D’Anna-Hernandez

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 11:30 AM

Location

22

Session

poster 4

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Fear is one of the most common anxiety symptoms exhibited in children. Although fear is thought to decrease as children get older, it may also serve as a predictor for internalizing behavior problems such as anxiety later in life. Mexican-American children are the fastest growing demographic in the US, thus it is important to understand cultural factors might affect fear in this population. Familism, a Mexican-American culture values that promotes support, obedience, and obligation between family members, has been shown to buffer the adverse effects of mental health disorders on wellbeing in adults and promote positive parenting. However, if familism is related to fear behavior in childhood is not clear. Thus, this study tested the hypothesis that more maternal familism would be associated with higher levels of fear in their children. The participants consisted of 67 Mexican-American women and their preschool aged children. Mothers completed the Mexican American Cultural Values Scale (MACVS) during pregnancy to assess for familism and the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA) when the child was about 3.5 to 6 years of age to assess fear. Results indicated that higher levels of familism was associated with higher levels of fear in preschool aged children (R2 = .067, B = 1.972, SE = .910, t = 2.168, p = .034), suggesting that high familism values could be a risk factor for children’s well-being. Familism is complex and recent work has suggested that the role of familism could even be stressor depending on the family economic situations and obligations. Further research should investigate the role of familism across different situations to obtain a better understanding of its advantages and disadvantages.

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Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM Nov 23rd, 11:30 AM

Maternal Familism in Mexican-American Women as a Predictor of Fear in Preschool-aged Children

22

Fear is one of the most common anxiety symptoms exhibited in children. Although fear is thought to decrease as children get older, it may also serve as a predictor for internalizing behavior problems such as anxiety later in life. Mexican-American children are the fastest growing demographic in the US, thus it is important to understand cultural factors might affect fear in this population. Familism, a Mexican-American culture values that promotes support, obedience, and obligation between family members, has been shown to buffer the adverse effects of mental health disorders on wellbeing in adults and promote positive parenting. However, if familism is related to fear behavior in childhood is not clear. Thus, this study tested the hypothesis that more maternal familism would be associated with higher levels of fear in their children. The participants consisted of 67 Mexican-American women and their preschool aged children. Mothers completed the Mexican American Cultural Values Scale (MACVS) during pregnancy to assess for familism and the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA) when the child was about 3.5 to 6 years of age to assess fear. Results indicated that higher levels of familism was associated with higher levels of fear in preschool aged children (R2 = .067, B = 1.972, SE = .910, t = 2.168, p = .034), suggesting that high familism values could be a risk factor for children’s well-being. Familism is complex and recent work has suggested that the role of familism could even be stressor depending on the family economic situations and obligations. Further research should investigate the role of familism across different situations to obtain a better understanding of its advantages and disadvantages.