Presentation on theme: "An Examination of Paternal Contributions to Child Behavior Among a Low-Income and Ethnically Diverse Sample Michael P. Flores, Kyle W. Murdock, & Laura."— Presentation transcript:
An Examination of Paternal Contributions to Child Behavior Among a Low-Income and Ethnically Diverse Sample Michael P. Flores, Kyle W. Murdock, & Laura D. Pittman Northern Illinois University Purpose: Prior research indicates that an increase in paternal involvement is associated with improved child behavior among low-income and ethnically diverse populations (e.g., Pruett, Cowan, Cowan, & Pruett, 2009). As a result, a variety of interventions designed to increase paternal involvement among low-income and ethnically diverse individuals have been proposed (e.g., Rienks, Wadsworth, Markman, Einhorn, & Etter, 2011). In addition, although the effects of the quantity of paternal involvement among low- income and ethnically diverse samples on child outcomes has been evaluated, less attention has been given to the quality of paternal involvement in the literature. There is also a lack of research examining paternal psychopathology as a predictor of child outcomes despite evidence suggesting that increased paternal psychopathology may be negatively associated with the quality of father-child relationships (e.g., Wilson & Durbin, 2010). Maternal psychopathology, however, has been linked to negative child behaviors (e.g., Downey & Coyne, 1990) The present study aimed to evaluate negative paternal parenting behavior as a mediator of the associations between paternal psychopathology and child behavior problems. It was hypothesized that negative paternal parenting behavior would partially mediate the association between paternal psychopathology and child behavior problems. In addition, given evidence suggesting that child gender is associated with parenting behavior and child behavior among at-risk samples (e.g., Parent et al., 2011), child gender was also incorporated as a moderator in a larger model. Participants: Method & Measures: Discussion: Mothers and fathers of 2-4 year old children who participated in the first wave of both the Main and Embedded Developmental Study of the Three-City Study (Winston et al., 1999) were included in present study analyses (N = 229). The majority of parents identified their marital status as never married (62%; intact marital relationship, 29%; divorce, 7%), with 50% of fathers reporting currently living with their children’s mother. All children lived with their mothers. Fathers ranged from 18 – 63 years of age (M age = 30.14, SD = 7.50). Forty-five percent of fathers self-identified their ethnicity as African-American, 45% as Hispanic, 8% as Caucasian, and 2% as other. Hierarchical regressions were run testing the proposed mediation of the relationship between paternal internalizing symptoms and child behavior problems by negative father-child interactions. (See Table 1.) Additionally, a larger model testing the hypothesized mediation model with child gender included as a moderator of the association between paternal psychopathology and negative paternal parenting behavior, was assessed using the MODMED macro provided by Preacher and Hayes (2007; see Figure’s 1 & 2) for use in SPSS. The MODMED macro also provides an estimate of the indirect effect via bootstrap analyses, a preferred method for examining mediation models (e.g., Hayes, 2009). Child ethnicity, paternal involvement and education, and maternal household income to needs, education, and marital status, were entered as covariates in all analyses. Corresponding Author: Please contact Michael Flores at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments, questions, or suggestions. The results suggest that when fathers are more psychologically distressed their children exhibit more behavior problems, and this can be partially explained through increased negative paternal parenting behaviors. As such, increased paternal involvement may be ill-advised when fathers are struggling with mental health issues, at least among low-income and diverse samples. In addition, child gender was identified as a moderator of the association between paternal psychopathology and negative paternal parenting behavior. These results may be associated with previously identified “spillover effects” among parents of young children. As an example, coparenting hostility has been found to spill over into parenting behaviors for parents of girls but not boys (Stroud et al., 2011). Such spillover may be associated with the risks that daughters pose to low- income families as compared to sons when of child bearing age. As such, fathers may aim to control their child through harsh parenting behavior in order to minimize this future risk. Given the findings identified in the present study, it may be beneficial for clinicians to address paternal psychopathology, and incorporate aspects of parent training to decrease negative paternal parenting behavior, prior to increasing paternal involvement among distressed fathers. Such a strategy has been identified by Ben- Porath (2010) in which aspects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are incorporated into parent training programs to reduce parent distress. Stress reduction among low-income and diverse fathers may be especially important given the number of stressors they may encounter in everyday life. Results Continued: Figure 2. Child gender as a moderator of the association between paternal psychopathology and negative paternal parenting behavior Figure 1. A moderated-mediation model of the relationship between paternal psychopathology and child behavior problems Results indicated a significant positive association between paternal psychopathology and child behavior problems. Additionally, results suggest a significant positive association between negative paternal parenting behavior and child behavior problems. When parenting was included in Model 2, the association between paternal psychopathology and child behavior problems was less strong, but remained significant, suggesting partial mediation Fathers reported on: Their own psychopathology was measured through the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI; Derogatis, 1993). The quality of father-child interactions via the harsh and disengaged scales of the Raising Children Checklist questionnaire (Shumow, Vandell, & Posner, 1998). Their child’s behavior through the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach, 1992). Their own level of educational attainment. Mothers reported on paternal involvement and provided information regarding marital status, education, household income (which was used to create an income-to-needs ratio), and child’s ethnicity. More information regarding the methodology utilized in the Three City Study can be found at: http://web.jhu.edu/threecitystudy Analysis Plan: Results: As shown in Figure 2, the link between paternal psychopathology and negative paternal parenting behavior was stronger for fathers of female children as compared to male children. Also, the MODMED macro found, that in addition to a significant direct effect, there was a significant indirect effect between paternal psychopathology and child behavior problems, through negative paternal parenting behavior. Table 1. Regressions testing mediation of the association between paternal psychopathology and child behavior problems through negative paternal parenting behavior Model 1Model 2 VariableBSE BβB β Paternal Psychopathology.27.08.44**.46.09.35** Negative Paternal Parenting Behavior.30.10.21** Constant-.40.24-.42.24 R2R2.21.24 Adjusted R 2.18.20 F – Ratio7.09**7.51** R2∆R2∆.21 F ∆F ∆ 30.08** Note. * p <.05. ** p <.01. Note. * p <.05. ** p <.01. a Hispanic/Latino is comparison group.