Teaching interactions of black and Cuban teenage mothers and their infants

Mercedes M. de Cubas, Tiffany Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Possible factors related to maternal teaching styles are socioeconomic status, ethnic group membership, maternal age, maternal locus of control, and the mother's “hidden agenda” or goals for her child. In this study, 32 lower income, Black and Cuban, teenage and adult mothers and their 12 month old infants participated in a simple task teaching their infant how to operate a “Jack-in-the-box”. The mothers were also interviewed on questionnaires designed to tap locus of control, “hidden agendas”, and demographic characteristics. The results showed that Cuban mothers demonstrated the task to their infant with verbalization significantly more often than the Black mothers. The groups did not differ on maternal “hidden agendas”. Adult mothers showed a more internal locus of control than teenage mothers. Infants of Black, teenage mothers vocalized significantly less often than infants of the other groups. Results of this study provide additional support for existing literature in which maternal age and cultural differences were reported for the amount of maternal verbalization during early teaching interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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