Maternal socialization of safety practices among Mexican American children

Thomas G. Power, Norma Olvera, Jennifer Hays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The relationship between maternal socialization strategies and children's safety practices was examined in a sample of 80 low-income Mexican American mothers and their 4- to 8-year-old children. Mothers were interviewed about the socialization strategies they used to influence their child's safety practices and about their children's safety behaviors in the home. Observations of the home environment yielded a measure of the family's use of proactive safety strategies. Children's safety knowledge was assessed in a structured play situation conducted in a simulated home environment. Results showed that although mothers uniformly set safety rules regarding child behavior inside and outside the home, a significant number of mothers engaged in relatively few proactive practices to ensure child safety. Children who showed the greatest degree of safety knowledge and/or behavior tended to have mothers who used proactive safety strategies and who relied on consequence explanations versus commands or unelaborated explanations to teach child safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-97
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2002


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