Parent-Child Interactions in Ethnically Diverse Families
In the first years of life, infants’ rapid advances in language, object exploration, play, and motor development do not occur in isolation. Parents are nearby supporting infants’ emerging skills. Research with diverse families in the United States highlights the profound influence of these early parenting behaviors for later school readiness. Findings will be presented on the types of parent-child interactions that promote children’s early development in families from diverse backgrounds (European American, African American, Dominican, Mexican, and Chinese). Discussion will focus on the role of practitioners in supporting parents and in promoting foundational skills in infants and toddlers.
Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda is currently Professor of Developmental Psychology at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is Director of the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education, which focuses on infants and children from culturally diverse backgrounds. Her research examines infants’ developing language, cognition, and social understanding across the first four years of life. Her special interest is in the social and cultural contexts of early development, especially the ways in which mothers’ and fathers’ beliefs and practices shape children’s developmental trajectories in different populations within the United States and internationally.