Pathways into college and away from crime: Perspectives of Black and Latino/a youth growing up in single-mother households in one of America's most dangerous cities

Barbara Previ, Laura Napolitano, Michelle Meloy, Kristin Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

While much of the extant literature on single-mother households describes a host of risks that these children experience, much less research addresses how youth raised by single mothers living in resource strained neighborhoods achieve successes. This investigation explores the methods single mothers of color utilize to foster resilience and academic and personal success among a sample of college students and recent graduates who grew up in a crime ridden city. Through in-depth retrospective interviews that are part of a larger multi-methods study, a subsample of respondents (n = 40) shared their perceptions of the strategies used by their single mothers to help them become academically successful while also protecting them from the crime, drugs, and poverty within their homes and neighborhoods. Both Black and Latina single mothers used restrictive parenting techniques, provided educational and emotional supports, and exemplified prowess and creativity in accessing resources to fulfill the financial needs of their children in remarkably similar ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104561
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume108
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • College attendance of at-risk youth
  • Parenting in high risk communities
  • Resilience
  • Resistance from crime
  • Single mothers

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