chapter  9
26 Pages

Family Values of Latino Adolescents

Latino families have been described in the literature as adhering to family values and styles of interactions that are different from those of other ethnic groups and the dominant middle-class, Anglo, North American culture. Familism, or the strong identification, loyalty, attachment, and solidarity of individuals with their families, is considered one of the most important culture-specific values of Latino families (Andrade, 1980; Garrison & Weiss, 1979; Gurak, 1981; Moore, 1970; Sabogal, Marín, Otero-Sabogal, VanOss-Marín, & Pérez-Stable, 1987; Triandis, Marín, Betancourt, Lisansky, & Chang, 1982). Similarly, the phrase “normal enmeshment” has been coined to describe the pattern observed within Latino families of overinvolvement, dependence, and discouragement of self-differentiation among family members (Canino & Canino, 1980; Badillo Ghali, 1982). Respeto, as a value and as a behavior, also serves in the preservation of generational and gender role boundaries in families, moderating how individual family members interact based on age and sex (García-Preto, 1982). Accordingly, child-rearing values also emphasize strict sex roles, respect for elderly and other authority figures, discouragement of independence, and avoidance of conflict with significant others (Borrás, 1989; García-Preto, 1982).