Parenting Behavior, Health, and Cognitive Development Among Children in Black Immigrant Families: Comparing the United States and the United Kingdom.
Migration Policy Institute. National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. Young Children in Black Immigrant Families Research Initiative.
Published: September 2012
Using data from two national samples that included Black African and Caribbean mothers in the United States and the United Kingdom, a study examined parenting behaviors that might affect children's early health and cognitive development (from birth to age 5), as well as later health and cognitive outcomes. The study found that in both countries there is evidence of favorable breastfeeding patterns among Black immigrant mothers, and high usage of early prenatal care among all mothers. Black immigrant mothers' healthy prenatal behavior is paralleled by the healthy birth weight of their children and, in the United Kingdom, by these children's lower asthma risk at age 5. Black children, however, have weaker verbal development and, in the United Kingdom, this disadvantage is particularly pronounced among children whose mothers are immigrants. The study also found that despite variations in policies related to immigration, health care, governmental support for new parents, and social service, parenting and development patterns among Black children in immigrant families were similar across the two countries. It is concludes that the development of children in Black immigrant families show both favorable and disadvantaged patterns. 73 references. (Author abstract modified)
immigrants; Ethnic differences; Parenting skills; Cognitive development; Child development; African Americans; Child health; Parental behavior