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R Brawer. TJU, Philadelphia, PA; M Mogul, Maternity Care Coalition, Philadelphia, PA


Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) is a non-profit organization that has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1980. The primary focus of MCC is to improve health and well-being for mothers and their children (ages 0-3) through direct services, research, and advocacy. Given the dramatic increase in Latino families served by MCC, staff sought to better understand the experience of parenting in a new culture, particularly for their Norristown Latina immigrant clients. MCC conducted focus groups with Latina mothers receiving home-visiting services at the Norristown Area Early Head Start site. A total of 13 women participated in three focus groups, which were audio recorded, transcribed and translated into English. This qualitative, retrospective study of the focus group transcripts, used thematic analysis to investigate Latina mothers’ parenting experience outside of their native country in order to tailor services to better meet their needs. Coding revealed multiple themes and subthemes that permeated the women’s stories. Norristown mothers disclosed parenting concerns related to childcare, the environment, and parenting skills and practices. Findings described the participants’ commitment to being good and protective parents, as well as the ways in which their parenting efforts are influenced by experiences of adversity and discrimination, distance from family, self-reliance, fear of deportation, Latino cultural values, and a constant struggle for economic security. The results can inform future MCC services provided to Latina immigrant women and their families.

Presentation: 27 minutes