Running head: Black Women and White Women: Do Perceptions of Childhood Family Environment Differ Black Women and White Women: Do Perceptions Of Childhood Family Environment Differ
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The research article is based upon a comprehensive study of Black and White Women and tries to answer the question. do perceptions of childhood family environment differ The research was done on a sample of Black and White women from two-parent families, heterogeneous in age and social class.
II. Purpose of the Research
The research was conducted to find out the differences in perceptions of childhood family environment amongst black women and white women to examine the long-term effects of childhood stresses and resources on women with and without alcoholic parents.
The research was generally based upon the following research questions:
What role does socioeconomic status and age play in the perception of childhood family environment
What differences lie amongst races in perception of their parents as caretakers
Authors have mentioned a few theories that provide addition information for the research.
Black parents may consciously practice racial socialization. They may choose to teach their children how to cope in a dominant white and racial society by emphasizing obedience to rules, respect for elders, and loyalty and responsibility to family and community.
A cultural socialization model was also illustrated in the research, principled upon respect responsibility restraint and reciprocity that were brought by enslaved people from West Africa to the Americas strongly influence parenting practices in the present day.
According to some researchers, religious beliefs and activity may be another important cultural factor contributing to family processes.
This suggests outliers in the sample and population, whose characteristics and perceptions differ based upon variables that are uncontrollable.
IV. Research Method
The research method applied was a combination of quantitative and qualitative research with a self-administered questionnaire gathering information from the participants on a Likert scale, followed by a focused interview. Siblings of the primary subjects were only forwarded the questionnaire to affirm the findings of the research.
A. Sample / Subjects
A community sample of White women and Black women was recruited for the study. A pilot study was done to help refine the recruitment and screening procedures.
The subjects were required to be US born and with US born parents and having been lived in a two parent household for at least ten years in childhood. The sample taken was heterogeneous in nature with a broad range of ages, years of education, marital status and employment status with minimal differences amongst black and white.
B. Data Collection Method
Data was collected via a self-administered questionnaire requiring the participant to fill the required fields on a Likert scale followed by a focused interview lasting two house with each participant focusing on the findings of the questionnaire by the use of open-ended questions.
Siblings of the primary participants were involved by a self-administered questionnaire. Siblings were used in the research as collateral informants to affirm the findings.
C. Ethical Issues
Informed consent was taken from the participants at the start of the focused interview session. The participants were also informed about their right to privacy during this session.
D. Measures and Variables
To examine childhood family environment, Family Environment Scales was used. The scale is designed to measure the family as a social environment. The variables pertinent to the study were used and others were omitted as less salient to the research focus on family relationships.
The variables of Family Environment Scales considered for the research were cohesion, expressiveness, conflict and organization.
Variables such as social class, level of income and family structure were noted as dependent variables for the study.
Categories generated on the basis of the research were availability at home, emotional support, ability to meet basic needs, and discipline.
Childhood family environment were compared for black women and white women. Initial analyses controlled for social class and age. Black women scored their childhood families higher on cohesion, expressiveness and organizations and lower or family conflict as compared to white women. As indicated by previous researches. cohesion, expressiveness, and conflict were found to be equal amongst the races. However, a marked difference was noted in the last scale, which showed that black women compared to white women, described their families as significantly more organized. The race differences for sibling Family Environment Scale scores were similar to those for subjects, with black ratings their families as stronger compared with whites.
Four categories were generated from the qualitative study, i.e. availability at home, emotional support, ability to meet basic physical needs and guidance or discipline. All these categories were marked negative with minor differences. Blacks were more negative than whites in their ratings for mothers in parent’s availability and whites were more negative than blacks in ability to meet basic physical needs.
The only difference found among black women and white women was in organization, availability of parents and parent’s ability to meet basic needs. A cultural framework stressing values and beliefs may explain racial differences.
The study was limited to second generation US born subjects to minimize ethnic differences. Hence findings cannot be generalized to families who recently migrated to the United States.
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