Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 10, Issue 1, 2018

Article 2
A Contemporary Look at Parenting Beliefs and Practices and Childhood Outcomes in Caribbean Cultural Communities

Haidy J.M. Lie-A-Ling
Anton de Kom University of Suriname

Pam H. Zuurbier
Anton de Kom University of Suriname

Jaipaul L. Roopnarine
Syracuse University, New York

Anton de Kom

University of Suriname


This paper provides a synopsis of 24 peer-reviewed studies on parenting beliefs and practices conducted in the Caribbean region between 2006 and 2017. Newer studies have improved markedly over prior work in their use of culture-based models and theories, methodology, and analytic techniques. Unlike the findings of previous studies, there was more variability in both positive parenting and physically controlling practices. Across ethnic groups, both children and adults appear torn between the necessity and the effects of harsh disciplinary practices. As in other parts of the world, harsh parenting practices in the Caribbean were negatively associated with behavioral adjustment and cognitive skills, whereas positive parenting was associated with more favorable cognitive and social outcomes in children. More emphasis should be placed on the diverse aspects of parenting (e.g., positive, engaged parenting, paternal parenting, support systems and generational continuance) and on factors that mediate and/or moderate the associations between parenting practices and childhood outcomes.