Study: Mexican moms are the best

Can being a more nurturing mother be tied to your cultural background and your ethnicity? Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, seem to think so. Or, at least, that's what they found according to a study published in the scientific journal Child Development. After visiting the homes, interviewing, and observing more than 5,000 mothers some born in Mexico, others born in China, and the rest in the U.S., they found that Mexican mom are more nurturing than Chinese- and native-born mothers!

If you're Latina, you're probably not surprised by these results. After all, it's a well-known fact that one of the characteristics that binds us is the utmost importance we give to family and, in particular, to the role of mamás in our culture. 

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But what exactly does it mean that Mexican mothers are more nurturing? According to the study, they provide "warm and supportive home settings," have fewer fights with their spouses and are less likely to show depressive symptoms than their white counterparts--even though they have higher poverty rates. 

More than anything it proves, at least to me, that poverty doesn't necessarily determine the kind of mother you are. For a long time, "policymakers have assumed that poverty necessarily leads to poor parenting," as Claudia Galindo, a sociology professor and one of the study's authors, said. And this study shows that even though poverty rates are higher for Mexican immigrants, they still find the way to be warmer and supportive. 

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On the other hand, the study found that Mexican moms basically don't read to their kids and don't organize the kind of activities that helps them academically, unlike Chinese moms. Does that mean that Mexican moms don't care about their kids' education? I seriously doubt that, but I think that like many other Latino immigrants, they probably think their children's schools are the ones responsible for their education. 

What do you think about this study? Do you think your heritage has something to do with the kind of mother you are? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment below. 

Image via Gato Azul/flickr

Topics: latina moms  hispanic children  on parenting