Ethnic minority children in the United Kingdom often experience health disadvantage. Parenting influences children's current and future health, but little is known about whether parenting behaviours and mother's perception of her infant vary by ethnicity. Using the Born in Bradford (BiB) birth cohort, which is located in an ethnically diverse and economically deprived UK city, we conducted a cross-sectional analysis of mother's self-reported parenting confidence, self-efficacy, hostility and warmth, and infant temperament at six months of age. We examined responses from women of Pakistani (N = 554) and White British (N = 439) origin. Pakistani mothers reported feeling more confident about their abilities as a parent. Significantly fewer Pakistani women adopted a hostile approach to parenting, an effect that was attenuated after adjustment for socioeconomic status and mental health. Overall, women with more self-efficacious, warm and less hostile parenting styles reported significantly fewer problems with their infant's temperaments. Of women with higher self-efficacy parenting styles, Pakistani mothers were significantly more likely than White British mothers to report more problematic infant temperaments, although absolute differences were small. It is unlikely that the ethnic variation seen in children's cognitive and behavioural outcomes in childhood is attributable to differences in parenting or infant characteristics reported at six months.
Keywords: Ethnic minority; infant temperament; parenting confidence; parenting self-efficacy; parenting style.