Ceballo is exploring another possible buffer against the effects
of poverty among Latino families: familismo — a Latino
cultural emphasis on family and prioritization of family needs
In a 2013 paper in Social Development, Ceballo and Traci
M. Kennedy, PhD, found that adolescents’ endorsement of
familismo was associated with lower levels of exposure to
violence — a common occurrence in the lives of many poor
people. Plus, youth whose families espouse familismo also had
fewer depressive symptoms if they were exposed to violence.
Family can also help boost academic achievement among
low-income Latino students. In a 2014 paper in Cultural
Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Ceballo and her co-authors found that three types of parental involvement boosted
academic outcomes in low-income Latino adolescents: school-based involvement, parents’ discussions with their children
about the value of school, and the notion of children doing well
academically as a gift to honor parental hard work and sacrifice.
Teachers, says Ceballo, may judge parents’ commitment to
their children’s education by noting whether or not they attend
parent/teacher conferences and similar school-based events.
But low-income parents may not have the time or resources
to attend. Teachers need to understand that if they don’t see
parents at school, it doesn’t mean those parents don’t care about
their children’s education, she says.
“My parents didn’t feel comfortable going to my rich private
school, couldn’t speak to my teachers and couldn’t help me with
my homework, but they still did a tremendous amount for me,”
says Ceballo. “They said, ‘We’ll do whatever we can to support
your education.’” n
• APA’s Socioeconomic Status Office. Visit www.apa.
• APA. (2000). Resolution on poverty and socioeconomic
status. Available at www.apa.org/about/policy/poverty-resolution.aspx.
• APA. (2008). Resources for the inclusion of social class
in psychology curricula. Available at www.apa.org/pi/ses/
• APA. (2014). Understanding and overcoming the
influences of poverty on children and families. Webinar
sponsored by APA’s Offices on Socioeconomic Status and
Violence Prevention. Archived at www.apa.org/pi/ses/
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