Inner-city single black mothers' gender-related childrearing expectations and goals

Elizabeth A. Sharp, Jean M. Ispa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Semi-structured interviews with nine U.S. Midwestern inner-city single Black mothers of young children were analyzed using inductive qualitative methods to determine similarities and differences in their expectations and goals for sons versus daughters. Drawing on critical race feminism, we developed links between these ideas, mothers' personal experiences with men, and prevailing Black gender ideologies. Mothers valued independence and strength in daughters and hoped to prevent early sexual activity. Mothers with sons couched their aspirations in terms of counter-examples but were fatalistic. Childrearing goals reflected fears based on personal experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-668
Number of pages13
JournalSex Roles
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Black single mothers
  • Childrearing goals
  • Gender


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