crcp2016-RoopnarineParenting Practices in Diverse Cultural Groups in the Caribbean: Links to Behavioral Health in Children
Jaipaul Roopnarine

Research on parenting practices in Caribbean cultural communities has received quite a bit of attention relative to other areas in developmental and family psychology. Studies have employed diverse theoretical frameworks (e.g., the bioecological model, interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory, parenting styles framework, ecocultural perspectives, the structural-functional approach, anti-colonial theory, stress and coping, social learning theory, health belief models) and different methodologies and analytic techniques (e.g., multi-level modeling, structural equation modeling, and cluster analysis) in outlining prevailing parenting practices, risk and protective factors (e.g., neighborhood collective efficacy, racial socialization) and behavioral health in Caribbean children.

This presentation will discuss the findings of a cross-section of studies from different ecological niches (Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname, St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, and Barbados) on maternal and paternal parenting practices and children's behavioral health in different marital and mating systems. For example, across countries and in different marital and non-marital structural arrangements, mothers and fathers appear to use harsh approaches combined with warmth in structuring childrearing goals that are then implemented in everyday parenting practices. Although some of the associations between family processes such as parenting styles, cohesion and adaptability, ethnic/racial socialization and children's mental health match patterns in other cultural settings across the world, factors that mediate and/or moderate these associations vary a good deal across Caribbean ethnic groups. The implications of the findings of these studies are discussed in the context of indigenous psychological practices and a cross-country understanding of the factors that influence children's behavioral health.