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      Family processes as pathways from income to young children's development.

      , ,
      Developmental Psychology
      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          Abstract

          A variety of family processes have been hypothesized to mediate associations between income and young children's development. Maternal emotional distress, parental authoritative and authoritarian behavior (videotaped mother-child interactions), and provision of cognitively stimulating activities (Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment [HOME] scales) were examined as possible mediators in a sample of 493 White and African American low-birth-weight premature infants who were followed from birth through age 5. Cognitive ability was assessed by standardized test, and child behavior problems by maternal report, when the children were 3 and 5 years of age. As expected, family income was associated with child outcomes. The provision of stimulating experiences in the home mediated the relation between family income and both children's outcomes; maternal emotional distress and parenting practices mediated the relation between income and children's behavior problems.

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          Most cited references58

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          The impact of economic hardship on black families and children: psychological distress, parenting, and socioemotional development.

          V C McLoyd (1990)
          Family processes affecting the socioemotional functioning of children living in poor families and families experiencing economic decline are reviewed. Black children are of primary interest in the article because they experience disproportionate shares of the burden of poverty and economic loss and are at substantially higher risk than white children of experiencing attendant socioemotional problems. It is argued that (a) poverty and economic loss diminish the capacity for supportive, consistent, and involved parenting and render parents more vulnerable to the debilitating effects of negative life events, (b) a major mediator of the link between economic hardship and parenting behavior is psychological distress deriving from an excess of negative life events, undesirable chronic conditions, and the absence and disruption of marital bonds, (c) economic hardship adversely affects children's socioemotional functioning in part through its impact on the parent's behavior toward the child, and (d) father-child relations under conditions of economic hardship depend on the quality of relations between the mother and father. The extent to which psychological distress is a source of race differences in parenting behavior is considered. Finally, attention is given to the mechanisms by which parents' social networks reduce emotional strain, lessen the tendency toward punitive, coercive, and inconsistent parenting behavior, and, in turn, foster positive socioemotional development in economically deprived children.
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            We Know Some Things: Parent-Adolescent Relationships in Retrospect and Prospect

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              Children of depressed parents: an integrative review.

              This article reviews the various literatures on the adjustment of children of depressed parents, difficulties in parenting and parent-child interaction in these families, and contextual factors that may play a role in child adjustment and parent depression. First, issues arising from the recurrent, episodic, heterogeneous nature of depression are discussed. Second, studies on the adjustment of children with a depressed parent are summarized. Early studies that used depressed parents as controls for schizophrenic parents found equivalent risk for child disturbance. Subsequent studies using better-defined samples of depressed parents found that these children were at risk for a full range of adjustment problems and at specific risk for clinical depression. Third, the parenting difficulties of depressed parents are described and explanatory models of child adjustment problems are outlined. Contextual factors, particularly marital distress, remain viable alternative explanations for both child and parenting problems. Fourth, important gaps in the literature are identified, and a consistent, if unintentional, "mother-bashing" quality in the existing literature is noted. Given the limitations in knowledge, large-scale, long-term, longitudinal studies would be premature at this time.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Developmental Psychology
                Developmental Psychology
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-0599
                0012-1649
                2002
                2002
                : 38
                : 5
                : 719-734
                Article
                10.1037/0012-1649.38.5.719
                12220050
                7aa9d465-f00d-46fe-87fa-626a97a47a0f
                © 2002
                History

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