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Parental Influences among African American and Latino Low-income adolescents: A Test of a Structural Equation Model Laura D. Pittman, Adeya Richmond, &

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Presentation on theme: "Parental Influences among African American and Latino Low-income adolescents: A Test of a Structural Equation Model Laura D. Pittman, Adeya Richmond, &"— Presentation transcript:

1 Parental Influences among African American and Latino Low-income adolescents: A Test of a Structural Equation Model Laura D. Pittman, Adeya Richmond, & Michelle K. Boswell INTRODUCTION Parents play an important role in their children’s development (e.g., Bornstein, 2002; Macoby & Martin, 1983), but most of this research has focused on middle-class European American populations. There is a call to consider whether parenting functions similarly in different cultural contexts (e.g., Taylor, 1996). The literature suggests that maternal depression is negatively linked to both positive parenting practices, which in turn is linked positively to academic achievement and negatively to internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors (e.g., Bornstein, 2002; McLoyd, 1990). First, this model is tested using a sample of low-income African American and Latino families with young adolescents. Next, this model is tested separately for each minority group to see if similar results are found. METHOD Data from Time 1 of Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study were used. Mothers and young adolescents from poor and near-poor families living in low-income neighborhoods were interviewed and two subtests of an achievement test were administered to the youth. This paper focuses on the African American and Latino adolescents (age years) in the sample (N = 933). Measures Maternal Depressive Symptoms (mother report) Somatization, Depression & Anxiety scales of the Brief Symptom Inventory–18 (Derogatis, 2000) Mother-Child Communication (adolescent report) Trust & Communication and Anger & Alienation factors of the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA; Armsden & Greenberg, 1987) Shared knowledge of adolescents’ whereabouts (Lamborn et al., 1991) Parenting Practices (mother report) 6 items from the Family Routines Inventory (Jenson et al., 1983) Disengaged & Permissive Parenting factors from the Raising Children Checklist (Shumow et al., 1998) Harsh Punishment (mother & adolescent report) Harsh Punishment Scale (adolescent report; McLoyd et al., 1994) Harsh Parenting factor from the Raising Children Checklist (mother report; Shumow et al.) Adolescents’ Internalizing Problem Behaviors Internalizing Scale from Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach, 1991) Total Score from the Brief Symptom Inventory–18 (Derogatis) Adolescents’ Externalizing Problem Behaviors Externalizing Scale form CBCL (Achenbach) Externalizing Behaviors from items modified from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY; Borus, et al., 1982) and the Youth Deviance Scale (Gold, 1970; Steinberg, et al., 1991) Adolescents’ Academic Achievement Letter-Word Identification & Applied Problems Standardized Scale Score from Woodcock- Johnson (Woodcock & Mather, 1989) Data Analysis Using the covariance matrix of the full sample, the measurement model was tested (see top portion of Table 1) using LISREL 8.8 (Jöreskog & Sörbom, 1996) and all indicators loaded significantly on the corresponding latent constructs. The structural model was then tested. The fully mediated model proposed was not supported. Several proposed paths were not significant and some direct paths between maternal depressive symptoms and adolescent outcomes needed to be added to the model (see bottom portion of Table 1 & Figure 1). Similar analyses were run for the African American and Latino samples separately (see Figures 2 & 3 and Tables 2 & 3). RESULTS SUMMARY OF RESULTS AND DISCUSSION For the full sample, the proposed indicators loaded significantly on the latent constructs. However, for the Latino analysis, the Harsh Punishment indicators were not significant. Probably due to this, this construct was not significantly linked to either maternal depressive symptoms or to adolescents outcomes. Further research exploring how harsh punishment is displayed and how it functions in terms of adolescent outcomes among Latino families is needed. Maternal depressive symptoms were negatively linked to more engaged parenting practices in both groups. Only in the total sample was the link between maternal depressive symptoms and mother-child communication found; this effect appears to be small and was not detected in the subsample analyses. More engaged/positive parenting practices were linked to lower levels of internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors in both groups, but only to higher academic achievement in the Latino group. More positive mother-child communication predicted adolescent academic achievement among African American, but not Latino, adolescents. This suggests that there are differential paths influencing academic achievement across minority groups. Further investigation is needed. Harsh punishment only remained significant in the model for African Americans, where the use of more harsh punishment was linked to more internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors in the adolescents. This study is limited by its use of only one time point. The direction of the effect may be reversed, where more positive adolescent outcomes lead to more positive parenting (i.e., less harsh, more engaged, and better communication). Longitudinal analyses examining links over time would be informative. Although the use of two minority groups with the same level of SES helps disentangle the influence of ethnicity from poverty, the findings can not be generalized to African American and Latino families with a higher SES. Further analysis using multigroup SEM analyses will be done to test more specifically the differences across groups. REFERENCES Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist/4-18 and 1991 Profile. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry. Armsden, G., & Greenberg, M. T. (1987). The Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment: Relationships to well-being in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 18, Bornstein, M. H. (Ed.) (2002). Handbook of parenting: Vol. 1. Children and parenting (2 nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Borus, M. E., Carpenter, S. A., Crowley, J. E., & Daymont, T. N. (1982). Pathways to the future, volume ii: A final report on the national survey of youth labor market experience in Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Center for Human Resource Research. Derogatis, L. R. (2000). Brief Symptom Inventory 18. Administration, Scoring, and Procedures Manual. Minneapolis, MN: National Computer Systems. Gold, M. (1970). Delinquent behavior in an American city. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. Jensen, E. W., James, S. A., Boyce, W. T., & Hartnett, S. A. (1983). The family routines inventory: Development and validation. Social Science & Medicine, 17, Jöreskog, K., & Sörbom, D. (1996). LISREL 8: User’s Reference Guide. Chicago: Scientific Software International. Lamborn, S. D., Mounts, N. S., Steinberg, L., & Dornbusch, S. M. (1991). Patterns of competence and adjustment among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful families. Child Development, 62, Maccoby, E. E., & Martin, J. A. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. In E. M. Hetherington (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 4. Socialization, personality, and social development. (Vol. IV, pp ). New York: John Wiley & Sons. McLoyd, V. C. (1990). The impact of economic hardship on Black families and children: Psychological distress, parenting, and socioemotional development. Child Development, 61, Shumow, L., Vandell, D. L., & Posner, J. K. (1998). Harsh, firm, and permissive parenting in low-income families: Relations to children's academic achievement and behavioral adjustment. Journal of Family Issues, 19, Steinberg, L., Mounts, N. S., Lamborn, S. D., & Dornbusch, S. M. (1991). Authoritative parenting and adolescent adjustment across varied ecological niches. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 1(1), Taylor, R. D. (1996). Adolescents' perceptions of kinship support and family management practices: Association with adolescent adjustment in African American families. Developmental Psychology, 32(4), Woodcock, R. W., & Mather, N. (1989). WoodcockJohnson-Revised Tests of Achievement: Examiner's Manual. In R. W. Woodcock & M. B. Johnson, Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing. Externalizing Symptoms R 2 = Maternal Depressive Symptoms Parenting Practices R 2 =.10 Harsh Punishment Internalizing Symptoms R 2 =.38 Mo.-Child Comm. R 2 =.01 Academic Achievement R 2 =.06 Externalizing Symptoms R 2 = Maternal Depressive Symptoms Parenting Practices R 2 =.12 Internalizing Symptoms R 2 =.38 Mo.-Child Comm. Academic Achievement R 2 =.12 Figure 1. Structural equation model of maternal depressive symptoms, parenting, and adolescents outcomes for full sample. Standardized paths are shown. All paths are significant at p < Figure 2. Structural equation model of maternal depressive symptoms, parenting, and adolescents outcomes for African American sample. Standardized paths are shown. All paths are significant at p <.05. Externalizing Symptoms R 2 = Maternal Depressive Symptoms Parenting Practices R 2 =.07 Harsh Punishment Internalizing Symptoms R 2 =.33 Mo.-Child Comm. Academic Achievement R 2 =.04 Figure 3. Structural equation model of maternal depressive symptoms, parenting, and adolescents outcomes for Latino sample. Standardized paths are shown. All paths are significant at p <.05. Table 1. Unstandardized and Standardized Parameter Estimates for Full Model in Figure 1 (Standard Errors in Parentheses; N = 933) Table 2. Unstandardized and Standardized Parameter Estimates for African American Model in Figure 2 (Standard Errors in Parentheses; N =443) Table 3. Unstandardized and Standardized Parameter Estimates for Latino Model in Figure 3 (Standard Errors in Parentheses; N = 490) -.16


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