Familism and Elementary School Children: A Perspective from Puerto Rican Mothers Living on the Island

By Arelis V. Vellon-Fernandez and Kevin R. Bush.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While there is a sizable body of literature substantiating the significance of family values such as familism for Latino families, most research has focused on Mexican families or Latinos living in the US mainland. Research is needed to examine specific factors of familism among Puerto Rican families living on the island. The principal objective of the current study was to explore familism, with a specific emphasis on the influence on young school children. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological framework guided the study, where 10 married or cohabiting women were interviewed using a semi-structured qualitative approach. Mothers provided information about their perceptions of values, familism, parents as models to instill values, and contributions of teachers to child’s values. Findings demonstrated that familism is related to children's positive academic experience/achievement. Some exceptions were found regarding family relationships and a child’s education. The study promotes discussion and further exploration about unique perspectives in family values.

Keywords: Familism, Family Values, Parent-child Relationships

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.117-127. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 381.395KB).

Arelis V. Vellon-Fernandez

Miami University, USA

Arelis is currently a bilingual teacher in Illinois. She earned a master's degree in Family and Child Studies from Miami University in Ohio. Arelis' research topics are: child development, education and family studies. Previously, she created a Manual of Educational approaches for children living in an abused-children home in her home country, Puerto Rico. She has a bachelor's in Early Childhood Education from the University of Puerto Rico.

Dr. Kevin R. Bush

Associate Dean and Associate Professor, School of Education, Health, and Society, Department of Family Studies and Social Work, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA

Kevin is an Associate Professor of Family Studies and Associate Dean in the School of Education, Health and Society at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. His research interests focus on child and adolescent development in the contexts of family, school, community and culture. He has conducted studies with diverse US and international samples of children, adolescents and parents. Dr. Bush is also interested in program evaluation, and has conducted evaluations of school, agency and home based child and family intervention programs. Dr. Bush has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Arizona State University and a PhD in Human Ecology (Human Development and Family Relations) from The Ohio State University.