Founded in 1974, the Center for the Improvement of
Child Caring (CICC) has grown to be one of the
nation's largest and most productive nonprofit
parenting and parenting education organizations. For
more information about the Center's many programs,
activities, and products and services, go to our
www.ciccparenting.org, or call (800) 325-2422.
|Why Parents of African-American Children Need and Deserve Culturally-Specific Training and Resources
Raising African-American children in the United
States is an extremely challenging task.
Though all children progress through similar stages of
development, and all children need nurturance and
sensitive guidance, African-American children and
their parents face special problems as a result of our
country's history of racism and discrimination. These
historic, social, political, moral and economic
problems make it harder to raise proud and capable
Parents of African-American children face special
challenges in terms of helping their children cope with
racism and helping them maintain a positive cultural
identity. This is so regardless of whether they are
raising their children in affluent suburbs or inner city,
low income communities.
Like all parents, African-American parents can use a
helping hand in raising children in today's dangerous
and fast changing times. They can benefit from
research-based parent training classes and seminars,
and books, videos and guides that teach and inform
how best to relate to children as they grow.
But if such programming and resources do not also
address and respect issues that are particular to
raising African-American children, they are not being
as helpful as they could be.
This issue of Effective Parenting draws attention to
programs and resources that are most relevant and
respectful, as well as to important research findings.
|Research and Theory on African-American Parenting
In a chapter on African-American Parenting in the
Parenting, Volumn 4, Dr. Harriette P.
McAdoo of Michigan State University indicates that
the central issues that face African-American
parents are: (1) the lack of adequate financial
resources, (2) the role of education, (3) the high
proportion of single parents, (4) grandparents as
primary parent, and
(5) the task of racially socializing
their children. Her chapter then provides an
overview of research on these issues.
|CICC's Research on African-American Parenting
With grant funding from the National Institute of
Mental Health, CICC conducted extensive interviews
with African-American parents of young children
about their parenting attitudes, practices and
worldviews. The findings of this pioneering study
were carefully considered in deciding what to
emphasize and teach in the parenting program for
African-Americans that CICC was in the process of
creating, the Effective Black Parenting program.
Some of the key findings were that the
African-American parents who were interviewed for
- Had high achievement expectations for their
- Held worldviews on disciplining children that
stressed harshness and obedience
- In terms of racial socialization, the parents
reported that they choose not to make race a matter
of direct discussion with their children or spoke in
terms of blocked opportunities and having to work
harder to achieve.
The fullest coverage of these research results
appears in the book, Black Parenting: Strategies for
Training by Dr. Kerby T. Alvy.
A chapter in
another book by Dr. Alvy, Parent Training Today: A Social
Necessity, also contains many of the study
|The Gateway to Academic Success
The Gateway to Academic Achievement is a powerful
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divide' by providing essential resources in a
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and informative web links, the Gateway makes finding
homework help or college preparation websites a
The Gateway to Academic Achievement:
This CD is both in English and Spanish.
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