Incorporating the cultural value of respeto into a framework of Latino parenting

Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2010 Jan;16(1):77-86. doi: 10.1037/a0016071.


Latino families face multiple stressors associated with adjusting to United States mainstream culture that, along with poverty and residence in inner-city communities, may further predispose their children to risk for negative developmental outcomes. Evidence-based mental health treatments may require culturally informed modifications to best address the unique needs of the Latino population, yet few empirical studies have assessed these cultural elements. The current study examined cultural values of 48 Dominican and Mexican mothers of preschoolers through focus groups in which they described their core values as related to their parenting role. Results showed that respeto, family and religion were the most important values that mothers sought to transmit to their children. Respeto is manifested in several domains, including obedience to authority, deference, decorum, and public behavior. The authors describe the socialization messages that Latina mothers use to teach their children respeto and present a culturally derived framework of how these messages may relate to child development. The authors discuss how findings may inform the cultural adaptation of evidence-based mental health treatments such as parent training programs.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Dominican Republic / ethnology
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Intergenerational Relations
  • Mexican Americans / ethnology
  • Mexican Americans / psychology
  • Models, Psychological
  • Parenting / ethnology*
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Social Values / ethnology*
  • Socialization
  • United States