Project P.E.A.R.L.S. (Parents Enhancing Academic Readiness through Lessons about Strengths)

With Dr. Jacqueline Mattis (University of Michigan) and Dr. Linnie Green (formerly at NYU and Boston College)

This project is in the data analysis and dissemination phases and explores what Black (African American, Black Caribbean, and African immigrant) parents in New York City Head Start programs determined to be supportive parenting. Specifically, we wanted to learn about parents' beliefs, values, goals, and practices with respect to their preschool aged children. We set out to learn from parents (through parent conversation groups, individual interviews, and videotaped observations of parent-child interactions) about their conceptualizations of parenting strengths. The ultimate goal was to develop new tools to assess parenting that are strengths-based and grounded in the beliefs and values of parents' ethnocultural communities. As we learn more about positive parenting across communities, we learn more about how we can influence positive outcomes for children, like school readiness. This project was originally funded by the National Institutes of Health. We are currently seeking funding to continue building on what we have learned.

For more information on this line of research, please read:

*Indicates student co-author

McWayne, C., *Owsianik, M., *Green, L., & Fantuzzo, J. (2008). Parenting behaviors and preschool children's social and emotional skills: A question of the consequential validity of traditional parenting constructs for low-income African Americans. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 173-192.

McWayne, C. M., Mattis, J, S., *Wright Green, L., & *Limlingan, M. C., & *Elise Harris (2016). An emic, mixed-methods approach to defining and measuring positive parenting among low-income Black families. Early Education and Development, 28, 182-206.

McWayne, C.M., Mattis, J., & *Hyun, S. (In Press). Profiles of positive parenting among low-income, Black families of preschool children and their relation to school readiness competencies. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Selected Presentations:

McWayne, C. M., Mattis, J. S., Wright, L. G., *Watson, C., *Rogers, O., *Bayer, B., *Kull, M., Knight, K., Ricks, I., & *Samuel, S. (2010, June). Creating parent-derived, strengths-based observational and paper-pencil measures for Black Head Start parents: Preliminary findings. Poster presentation at Head Start's Tenth National Research Conference: Research on Young Children and Families: Launching the Next Decade for Policy and Practice. Washington, DC.

Mattis, J., McWayne, C., Wright, L.G, *Limlingan, M. & *Harris, E. (April 2013). Developing a Culturally Relevant Measure of Parenting among Black Head Start Families: A Mixed –Methods Emic Approach. Paper presentation at the Society for Research in Child Development Conference, Seattle, WA.

Mattis, J. S., McWayne, C. M., Green Wright, L. E., & *Harris, E. M. (April 2013). A Parent-Derived Observational Measure of Parenting Competence: A Focus on Low-Income, Urban-Residing African American Parents. Poster presentation at the Society for Research in Child Development. Seattle, WA.

Green Wright, L., McWayne, C. M., & Mattis, J. S. (January 2013). Validation of the Family Support Scale with Black Head Start families: Parent ethnicity matters. Paper presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.