PARENTAL ETHNIC-RACIAL SOCIALIZATION PROCESSES AMONG CHINESE AMERICAN FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN
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Despite literature suggesting that socializing children of color regarding race and ethnicity is key to protect them against racism in America, little is known about how Asian American young children are ethnically and racially socialized by their parents. In the event of increased anti-Asian racism during COVID-19, it becomes urgent that we address this knowledge gap. The goal of the present study is to understand the parental ethnic-racial socialization processes with Asian American young children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Fifty-seven low-income (n=36) and middle-and-upper-income (n=21) Chinese American mothers (Mage = 37.14, SD =4.99) of four-to-seven-year-old children (Mage =5.63, SD =0.82, female n=33, 58%) from Maryland and New York were interviewed. The participants shared the frequency and strategies of their ethnic-racial socialization processes and their perception of the effectiveness of these strategies. Using qualitative content analyses, results indicated that: (a) The two income groups shared the same frequency of using each ethnic-racial socialization dimension (cultural socialization, preparation for bias, promotion of mistrust, and egalitarianism and silence about race); (b) Different patterns emerged in the content of how they used preparation for bias and promotion of mistrust; (c) Mothers from the low-income group were more likely to experience discrimination and to share the discrimination experiences with their children to prepare them for bias; (d) Mothers from both of the income groups recognized that their children face model minority stereotypes in the society, but they held different attitudes towards the stereotypes; (e) The two income groups found cultural socialization helpful and promotion of mistrust harmful. More diversity and less consensus were found in their perception of the effectiveness of preparation for bias and egalitarianism and silence about race. The current study is the first study to reveal diversity of ethnic-racial socialization processes among the Chinese American families with young children. It provides empirical support that socioeconomic context is an indispensable variable in understanding ethnic-racial socialization processes in families of color.