Childbearing motivations are trait-like dispositions to feel, think, and act in a certain way in response to various aspects of parenthood. They shape human desire to have a child and underpin the decision about becoming a parent. A self-report tool to measure positive and negative childbearing motivations with their specific dimensions-the Childbearing Questionnaire (CBQ)-was developed in the US and has gained popularity over the past few decades as an increasing number of individuals choose not to have children. In the current article we present two studies, in which we developed and psychometrically validated a short version of the CBQ (The Childbearing Questionnaire-Short Form; CBQ-SF). In Study 1, we developed the CBQ-SF and verified its psychometric properties using a sample of 939 childless adults (25-44 years old). In Study 2, we cross-validated the CBQ-SF on a sample of 1803 childless adolescents aged from 18 to 20. Overall, our findings demonstrated that the CBQ-SF is a psychometrically sound instrument for comprehensively assessing childbearing motivations across different developmental periods (from late adolescence to middle adulthood). Most notably, our short measure preserves the multidimensionality of childbearing motivations and allows individuals' motivational profiles for parenthood to be identified. Future research directions and practical implications are discussed.
Sensory sensitivities in children are found not only across a range of childhood disorders, but also within the general population. The current exploratory study examines the reliability and validity of a novel parent-report measure which assesses sensory-sensitivities in both typically developing and non-typically developing children. This 42-item Parent-completed Glasgow Sensory Questionnaire (GSQ-P) has been adapted by us from an existing adult tool (Glasgow Sensory Questionnaire), and measures children’s hyper-sensitivities (sensory overload leading to avoidance-behaviours) and hypo-sensitivities (sensory dampening leading to seeking-behaviours) across seven different sense domains (visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile, vestibular, proprioception). We validated this novel measure on the parents of 601 English children 6–11 years. Both the long version (42-items GSQ-P) and an additional reduced version (24-item rGSQ-P) significantly associated with children’s anxiety, behavioural difficulties, and ability to empathise. As expected, sensory sensitivities were invariant across age and gender, but non-typically developing children had significantly elevated scores compared to typically developing peers (in both GSQ-P and rGSQ-P). We also provide insight into the structure of sensory sensitivities in children, showing for the first time that hyper sensitivities cluster by sense (e.g., tactile questions cluster together; visual questions cluster together) whilst hypo sensitivities cluster by behaviour (e.g., a cluster of seeking-behaviours irrespective of sense; a cluster of sensory dampening irrespective of sense). We offer both instruments (GSQ-P and rGSQ-P) as free reliable measures for better understanding children’s sensitivities, for use in different circumstances depending on focus.
This mixed method study examined maternal perceptions of their children’s sibling relationship when one child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and one is typically developing. Six mothers completed a questionnaire and semi-structured interview pertaining to their perceptions of the quality of the sibling relationship, the children’s development, adjustment, and impact on one another. Mothers spoke kindly of both children and offered positive and negative perceptions of the sibling relationship. Mothers perceived that sibling influence was bi-directional, in that both children affect the behaviors and interests of one another, regardless of diagnosis and birth order. Typically developing siblings were described as very involved and caring towards their sibling; however, siblings and parents seem to experience day-to-day challenges associated with family relationships and dynamics. Findings highlight the need for services to address the individual needs of parents and siblings in response to having a child with ASD.
This study examines the moderating role of parenthood in associations between personal and community resources and psychological distress and somatization following collective exposure to security threats. The research questions were guided by Terror Management Theory that posits that parenthood involves heightened anxiety when children are in danger yet may also provide an existential resource that can reduce the individuals’ distress. The study was conducted following the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict and included 1014 Israelis. The participants completed a questionnaire assessing levels of trauma exposure (the predictors), sense of mastery (personal resource), engagement in community activities and trust in leaders (community resources), and psychological distress and somatization (the outcomes). Results indicated that parenthood moderated several associations between trauma exposure and personal and community resources as well as paths between these resources and psychological distress. In almost all these cases, these paths were statistically significant only among parents in two different directions. Parenthood was associated with more psychological distress through lower sense of mastery and greater engagement in community activities. On the other hand, parenthood was related to lower psychological distress through greater trust in local leaders. In addition, only among parents, lower levels of mastery mediated the association between trauma exposure and somatization. These results offer significant implications for practitioners. Although parents and non-parents can be similarly affected by trauma exposure with respect to trauma-related outcomes, the way to assist them to reduce these negative outcomes should be conducted through different paths involving their personal and community resources.
Parents have adopted a variety of strategies for monitoring their adolescent children; yet, some strategies are more strongly associated with risk-taking during adolescence. The present study examined how age moderates the association between parental monitoring and adolescent risk-taking. Participants (N = 117, Mage = 15.21 years) were predominantly female (64.1%), and the largest racial/ethnic group in the sample was Asian (57.3%). Participants’ reports of risk behavior were regressed on participants’ reports of parental monitoring, and age was explored quadratically as a curvilinear moderator. Among more frequently monitored adolescents, risk-taking was lower in mid-adolescence and higher in later adolescence; among less frequently monitored adolescents, risk-taking was higher in early and mid-adolescence and lower in later adolescence (R2 = 0.26, p < 0.01). Parents should consider age-related developmental changes in adolescence (e.g., increased need for autonomy) and modify their monitoring efforts to match youths’ developmental needs.
Some aspects of parenting have been differentially associated with adolescents’ intrinsic values (affiliation, self-acceptance, and community) and extrinsic values (wealth, beauty, and fame). This study examines how the three components of detrimental parenting (i.e., rejecting, chaotic, and controlling parenting) relate to adolescents’ values (N = 647; ages 14–17; 57% girls). In addition to their perceptions of detrimental parenting, adolescents rated how important intrinsic and extrinsic values are to them and the extent to which their parents put intrinsic and extrinsic values into practice. Controlling for age, gender, and parents’ values, chaotic parenting moderated the correspondence between parents’ and adolescents’ extrinsic values. In addition, controlling parenting was the only parenting component directly related to adolescents’ values, being positively associated with adolescents’ extrinsic values.
In biological families, parental reflective functioning (PRF), or the parents’ capacity to envision their child as being motivated by internal mental states, is known to facilitate the development of the child’s theory of mind (ToM). Very few studies have investigated the relation between PRF and ToM in adoptive families, and none have simultaneously investigated the role of pre- and post-adoptive PRF. The present study is the first to examine relations between pre-adoptive reflective functioning (RF), post-adoptive PRF and children’s ToM acquisition in a sample of internationally adopted children and their adoptive parents (48 children; 14 girls and 34 boys). Specifically, we investigated whether the relation between pre-adoptive RF and ToM was mediated by PRF assessed when children were aged 3.5–4 years, and whether these relations were moderated by age at adoption, which served as a proxy for early adversity. Results indicated that none of the PRF dimensions mediated the relation between pre-adoptive RF and ToM. However, pre-adoptive RF and PRF both independently predicted ToM. Moreover, age at adoption moderated these associations, with both pre-adoptive RF and dimensions of PRF assessed at child age 3.5–4 years being related to ToM only in children who were adopted at an older age (≥18 months).
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for young people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) has recently been enhanced to target family environment factors. However, the process of change for OCD symptoms and family factors during treatment is not well understood. Uniquely, we explored patterns of change for OCD symptoms and a range of family variables throughout Baseline, Early, Mid, and Late treatment phases of family-based CBT (FCBT) for 15 young people with OCD using multiple informants. We predicted a linear reduction in OCD symptom severity and family accommodation (FA) across treatment phases, however the investigation into other family factor change patterns was exploratory. OCD symptom severity, FA, parental distress tolerance (DT), and conflict all showed significant linear change patterns across treatment phases according to multiple informants. In addition, the largest proportion of change for these variables typically occurred during the first third of treatment, highlighting the importance of identifying participants with and without early gains in future research. Blame also showed a significant linear change pattern, although with small reductions between treatment phases. Preliminary bivariate analyses sought to better understand whether family factor change predicted subsequent OCD severity change or vice versa. Similar patterns emerged across informants, including identification of OCD severity as a significant predictor of change for Blame at subsequent treatment phases. Analyses also showed bi-directional effects for DT and OCD symptoms across informants, where DT predicted OCD severity at subsequent treatment phases and vice versa. These outcomes support further research aimed at understanding the role of family factors in pediatric OCD symptom change.
Caregiver characteristics (i.e., cognitions, affective responses) and factors of stress and support across developmentally salient ecological contexts (i.e., home, school, and community) are important contributors to caregiving quality. Using a qualitative methodology with intentional awareness to reflexivity and the positionality of the research team, the present study sought to examine relations between emergent caregiver characteristics and the ways that caregivers appraised their experiences across contexts. Sixteen biological parents (Mage = 38.8, SD = 6.2; 44% non-Hispanic White, 6% Hispanic White, 19% Black or African American, 12.5% Latinx 12.5% Asian, 6% Syrian; 94% Female) completed in-depth semi-structured interviews and data were analyzed using thematic analysis with an inductive approach. Results highlight the unique roles of caregiver distrust, emotion regulation, developmental history, and culture in the ways that caregivers appraise experiences of stress and support across home, school, and community contexts. Together, these findings provide awareness of the unique relations between caregiver characteristics and context-specific experiences of stress and support, which can enhance our ability to tailor intervention and advise recommendation and dosage of various supports for caregivers and their families.
This paper discusses the experiences during COVID-19 of mothers who have young children, are survivors of domestic violence and who share parenting to highlight the further unsafe situations survivors of violence and their children were placed in during the pandemic. Part of a larger mixed methods study, these participants (n = 19) from three Canadian provinces, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, engaged in virtual individual one-on-one interviews via zoom. Using thematic analysis, four themes emerged from the data: 1) increased use of coercive controlling behaviors; 2) fear of the unknown; 3) lack of supports; and, 4) finding balance. Direct quotes are used to highlight the meaning of each theme. We outline the challenges these women have that are in addition to those experienced by many during COVID-19 times (increased stress, isolation, disconnect from supports, financial challenges). These include managing the shared parenting arrangements with a former abusive partner who used the pandemic as a further opportunity for coercive controlling behaviors under the guise of the public health order. The mothers were left to manage the difficult exchanges with a former abusive partner and unknown circumstances of the pandemic without guidance and support from legal actors. There will need to be a prioritization of the safety of mothers and their children in post-divorce parenting arrangements both during times of a community lockdown such as during the pandemic and also during non-pandemic times.
As part of the “Circuit-breaker” social distancing measure to address COVID-19, the government of Singapore closed schools and workplaces from April-May 2020. Although this helped reduce transmission rates, for working parents, this period had been a challenging experience of working from home while providing care for children full-time. Problems in the work-home interface can have a significant impact on parenting and marital harmony. We analyzed data from 201 married and employed parents in Singapore using online surveys. Latent profile analysis was used to identify profiles of parents’ work-family balance (WFB) and spousal and employer support. Linear regression was used to examine links between profiles with parenting stress and marital conflicts. Results indicated three distinct profiles of WFB and social support levels: (a) Strong (43%), (b) Moderate (38%), and (c) Poor (19%). Mothers were more likely than fathers to be in the Moderate and Poor profiles. One key finding is that profiles characterized by poorer WFB were found to be linked with higher parenting stress and increased marital conflicts. There are important variations in parents’ abilities to balance work and family and levels of social support received. Lock-downs can affect parenting and marital harmony especially for parents with poor WFB and weak social support. Any attention given to supporting working parents is vital and urgent to counter any problems in the work–family interface during a lock-down.
We explored how psychological stress and parenting styles predicted parental involvement for children with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic by adminsitering the Psychological Stress Questionnaire, Parenting Style Index and Parental Involvement Scale to 995 parents of children with intellectual disabilities. Our results indicated that psychological stress significantly negatively predicted parental involvement. In addition, three dimension of parenting styles significantly positively predicted parental involvement, with the results of acceptance/involvement (β ranging from 0.19 to 0.55, p < 0.001), strictness/supervision (β ranging from 0.16 to 0.34, p < 0.05), and psychological autonomy (β ranging from 0.23 to 0.28, p < 0.001). The present research’s significance, limitations, and implications are also discussed.
We explored academic socialization experiences of nine mothers in South Korea. Academic socialization has been defined as parents’ practices that transfer their educational expectations, values, and aspirations to their children (Hill, 2001). Adopting Giorgi’s phenomenological research method (1997), we interviewed nine mothers who had recently prepared their children to get into college. The interviews were focused on the ways in which they intervened in the academic process when their children were in high school. The data analysis proceeded along the four steps suggested by Giorgi (1997). The analysis resulted in the 12 constituents, which are the themes underlying the essential structure of the academic socialization experiences. The findings showed that during the academic socialization process, all participating mothers set high academic standards for their children. The mothers actively engaged in supporting their children through shadow education (i.e., supplementary private education) to strengthen their academic competitiveness. Further, the mothers found themselves competing with other mothers regarding the academic achievement of their children. The mothers rather than their children took initiatives for decision makings of academic matters. Some of their practices were noticed to have compromised the autonomy of their children. The mothers appeared to fulfill their needs that prove their self-worth by raising their children to be competent. The significance and implications of these results were discussed.
Limited empirical evidence is available about preschoolers’ sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity (PA) patterns in Head Start programs, we explored (a) preschoolers’ SB and PA patterns (ranging from SB to light-moderate-vigorous physical activity [LMVPA]) and (b) their relationships with sociodemographic factors, weight status, and motor development. Participants included 216 preschoolers (Mage = 4.32 ± 0.63; girls 56.5%) from six Head Start centers in an urban area in the southwestern region of the United States, assessing Actical® activity monitor-based PA, weight status, and motor development. The findings revealed preschoolers who were female, Hispanic/Latinx, with an at risk weight level, and/or in the below average motor development group tended to engage in less MVPA/LMVPA and also had higher SB patterns while participating in the Head Start program (p < 0.05–0.001, d ranged from 0.23 to 0.62). Head Start stakeholders (e.g., policymakers, leaders, curriculum coordinators, health professionals, and teachers) need to acknowledge the PA and health disparities, and intervene in underserved preschoolers’ health-promoting behaviors.
Peer victimization can be detrimental to youth. This study examines a particular type of peer victimization, relational peer victimization, and its effect on students’ engagement in the classroom. We specifically investigate the longitudinal relationship between relational peer victimization and academic engagement in a sample of 204 Black 3rd through 5th grade elementary school students by utilizing multiple informants: students and their parents reported on relational peer victimization, and teachers reported on students’ academic engagement. Our findings showed convergence between student and parent reports of relational peer victimization and revealed that experiencing relational peer victimization during the beginning of the school year (fall) negatively predicts teacher reported academic engagement towards the end of the school year (spring). Our study suggests that relational peer victimization is a critical issue that educators and researchers should consider when trying to foster academic engagement. There is also a need for further research regarding the role that families play in providing support to Black relationally victimized youth.
Latinx students experience stress at higher rates than European-American college-students in the U.S. and report the highest levels of anxiety among all other college-students, which can be a potential barrier to success. However, family members are identified as important sources of support by Latinx young-adults, and feeling support from family indicates a higher likelihood to remain enrolled in college. Few studies have explored the role of siblings in this relationship. This study examined whether positive and negative relationship qualities (RQ) between Latinx siblings may interact with level of anxiety, predicting academic stress (AS) and future aspirations (FA). Findings indicated that younger siblings with high anxiety and high negative RQ experienced higher levels of AS, while older siblings with low or mean-level anxiety and high negative RQ experienced high AS. Younger siblings with low anxiety, and high negative RQ with older siblings experienced low FA. The findings provide evidence that sibling relationship quality in Latinx students moderates the associations with anxiety, academic stress, and future aspirations, and that the presence of negative relationship qualities carried particular implications for future aspirations and academic stress. Understanding the influence of Latinx sibling RQ on mental health and AS can offer insight into the role of sibling relationships in the context of health, academic retention, and success in Latinx young people.
Despite the documented benefits of engaging parents in their children’s education, some parents become marginalized due to the ways parental engagement is conceptualized and implemented in schools. The purpose of this study is to examine the experience of parents who have children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as they try to engage in their children’s education. As a result of this hermeneutic phenomenological work, we first explored two major themes: parental engagement as demanding work and searching for partnership while coping with marginalization. Then a third theme were explored focusing on the overarching meaning of their experiences. Our findings show that parental engagement has been a highly demanding and overwhelming responsibility for these parents, and they experienced a sense of isolation and marginalization in school environments. At the intersection of research focusing on inclusive education, home-school partnership, and school leadership, we discuss implications for educators, policy makers, and teacher preparation programs.
Contemporary Chinese society blends traditional and new views of children’s emotions and social behavior. Research shows that family functioning and parents’ supportive emotion socialization benefit children’s social competence. Family functioning may influence parent-child interactions, thus we expected both direct and indirect (through emotion socialization) relations of family functioning with children’s social competence, indexed as prosocial and problem behavior. We explored parent gender and child gender differences. Participants were 365 mothers and 204 fathers of 5- to 10-year-old children from central and eastern China who completed online questionnaires. Structural Equation Modeling results showed that for both mothers and fathers, better family functioning related to more supportive and less nonsupportive emotion socialization responses. Moreover, family functioning showed an indirect influence on children’s problem behavior via parental nonsupportive responses (better family functioning related to lower nonsupportive responses, which related to lower problem behavior). For mothers only, family functioning related to children’s prosocial behavior directly (better family functioning related to higher prosocial behavior) and indirectly via supportive responses (better family functioning related to higher supportive responses, which related to higher prosocial behavior). Model invariance across child gender was tested and results showed that maternal supportive responses related more strongly to prosocial behavior among daughters than sons. Maternal nonsupportive emotion socialization responses related more strongly to problem behavior among sons than daughters; paternal nonsupportive responses related more strongly related to problem behaviors among daughters than sons. Findings support the role of family functioning in parental emotion socialization and suggest gender-specific influences of parental emotion socialization.
Behavior therapy is identified as an evidence-based treatment for adolescents with ADHD. To date, there is no literature comparing and contrasting the content of existing behavior therapy packages. This review explores the heterogeneity of evidence-based behavior therapies for adolescents with ADHD by identifying the differences and commonalities amongst them. We conducted a systematic review of the literature and identified six treatment packages that met our inclusion criteria. Qualitative coding of practice elements employed a distillation approach based on review of treatment materials from each identified package. Practice elements were sorted into categories of common, shared, or unique elements. We identified 22 practice elements in total: 5 common elements, 11 shared, and 6 unique. Common elements represented skills training (organization and time management skills) and behavior management (skill application assignments, progress monitoring, use of rewards) elements. The list of shared elements primarily comprised varying engagement and skill generalization components designed to support the success of common elements. Unique elements were primarily skills-based: social skills training and peer-based recreation activities (Challenging Horizons Program), parent-teen communication training (Supporting Teens’ Autonomy Daily), and distractibility reduction training and cognitive restructuring (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), but also included behavior modification (Challenging Horizons Program). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for adolescents with ADHD overlap substantially and include more common and shared than unique elements. In adolescence, ADHD psychosocial therapies represent hybrid training and behavior management interventions. Community-based adaptations of evidence-based treatments should retain common elements and consider modular implementation of shared and unique elements.
The influence of academic support on students’ academic and personal development has been previously demonstrated. The objective of this study was to present a validation of the Perceived Academic Support Questionnaire (PASQ). This scale has three dimensions: academic support from (1) teachers, (2) family, and (3) peers. For the reliability analysis, we estimated the Cronbach alpha and Composite Reliability Indices (CRIs). Factorial validity was assessed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and external validity was tested via a structural equation model in which the dimensions of academic support predicted academic motivation. The CFA fit indices showed very good fit to the data, supporting the theoretically proposed three-factor structure. The reliability indices, considering Cronbach alpha and CRI, were adequate for all dimensions and the predictive model fit was satisfactory. Teacher and parental academic support had a positive impact on academic motivation. On the contrary, a negative relationship between peer support and academic motivation was found. The evidence provided supports for the use of the PASQ as a brief academic support scale in future research.
Despite intensive treatment, adolescents discharged from residential treatment (RT) often do not maintain treatment gains in the community. Providing support and education to caregivers through parent training may ameliorate the loss of treatment gains. Successful parent training programs have been delivered to this population; however, these interventions were delivered in-person, posing significant barriers affecting reach, access, and engagement. A convergent mixed methods design was used to assess the acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of a web-based parent training in a sample of parents (N = 20) with adolescents admitted to RT. Parents completed two interviews and an end-of-program survey. Parents completed at least 80% of the assigned modules and felt that PW was easy to use and that the features facilitated learning. Parents reported practicing the skills in their daily lives and found it beneficial to have a partner to practice with. Consistent with previous studies, parents perceived the delivery method as a strength because the web-based delivery circumvented multiple known barriers to in-person interventions. A large subset of parents related to the scenarios, while a small subset of parents felt the modules were challenging to relate to because of the severity of their adolescent’s mental health challenges. Overall, findings indicate that web-based parent training programs may be an acceptable, appropriate, and feasible adjuvant evidence-based support. However, tailoring the intervention content is necessary to create a more relatable intervention that captures the breadth and severity of mental health challenges adolescents in RT face.
Cultural stigma, shame, self-concealment, and language and socio-economic barriers often keep Asian immigrant parents and children away from mental and behavioral services in the United States. Research shows that increased levels of parent distress suggest a negative impact on parenting practices and correlate child-maltreatment. Therefore, this study aimed to test one functionally contextual strategy to address such issues. The current study evaluated the effects of an online Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) Matrix for Japanese-speaking mothers living the United States. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline single-subject design across four mothers was used to assess the effect of ACT Matrix on value-driven behaviors, parental engagement (session attendance and daily assignment completion), parental distress, and psychological flexibility. The study consisted of a baseline, treatment (three ACT Matrix treatment sessions adapted from the six-step protocol), maintenance, and follow-up phases. A visual analysis reporting level, trend, variability, immediacy of change and overlap was used to identify a functional relation between the treatment and observable overt behaviors of value-driven behaviors and daily assignment completion. In addition, a non-overlap of all pairs was used to measure effect sizes for these behaviors. For psychological flexibility and parental distress, we used the reliable change index to assess whether clinically significant improvement occurred or not. The results revealed that the online ACT Matrix parent training program was effective in improving all four dependent variables. Mothers reported that the training was culturally sensitive, effective, and acceptable. The details of findings and the implications for future research as preventive science are discussed.
Exposure to childhood adversity is a prevalent and pressing issue due to its established links with poor physical and mental health outcomes across the lifespan. High rates of adversity have been found within young people attending mental health services, and the provision of trauma-informed care and trauma-specific therapies are therefore essential within these services. Trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based intervention with established efficacy amongst traumatised children and youth. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of trauma-specific therapy (TF-CBT) when implemented in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). Given that most youth receive care in community settings, it is important to determine whether treatments tested under controlled conditions can apply in the real world of clinical practice. Specifically, this study aimed to quantify the number and type of adversities reported by clients receiving the intervention; investigate whether the intervention is associated with improvements in participants’ posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, general mental health symptoms and functioning; and report contact with CAMHS at 3 months and 2 years post-treatment. Results showed that CAMHS clients were more likely to have experienced multiple traumatic events than single events, with 100% of clients experiencing suicidal thoughts. Treatment was associated with significant improvements in PTSD symptom severity and improvements in general mental health symptoms. Many clients received ongoing mental health support at the 3-month and 2-year follow-ups, reflecting the complex nature of their issues and the need for support to maintain gains achieved during treatment.
In this study we seek to better understand the experience of children exposed to parental negative conditional regard (NCR), a parenting practice where parents’ emotional availability is contingent on behavioral compliance rather than provided unconditionally. We propose that children parented with greater levels of NCR will show stronger negative reactions (i.e., physiological, subjective appraisal) to situations involving the expression of vulnerability than those parented with lesser levels of NCR, as the former will lack primary regulation strategies (e.g., asking for help), making vulnerability harder to resolve. We expect these children will display stronger reactions to situations involving expressing vulnerability to caregivers as they may fear rejection, after controlling for their responses to vulnerability alone. With a diverse sample of school-aged children (N = 109, 8–12 years of age), we test whether NCR, measured using parent- and child-reports, is associated with children’s negative reactions to hypothetical situations where 1) attachment needs are evoked (experience-only vignettes) and 2) attachment needs are evoked and vulnerability is expressed through help-seeking (HS vignettes). Children’s RSA profiles and subjective appraisals of hypothetical children were collected in a standardized laboratory paradigm. Results indicate that while parent-reported greater caregiver use of NCR was not significantly associated with physiology or appraisals, child-reported NCR was significantly associated with lower RSA and more negative appraisals of the hypothetical child when expressing vulnerability to the caregiver (HS vignettes). Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of attachment theory in middle childhood.
There is now strong evidence documenting an association between maternal depression and psychopathology in children and adolescents, but an increased understanding of the explanatory mechanisms is needed. This longitudinal study tested a model to determine if parenting processes that may promote parentification of adolescents (coded from narratives written by mothers) mediate the link between maternal depression symptoms and adolescent psychopathology. Participants in this study were 220 mothers and their children between the ages of 11 and 17, over-recruited for adolescent psychopathology. Maternal depression symptoms and the understudied process of differentiation of generational boundaries, as well as more commonly evaluated aspects of self-efficacy and child acceptance, were evaluated at Time 1. Adolescent psychopathology was assessed at Time 1 and again two years later at Time 2. As predicted maternal depression symptoms were related to adolescent psychopathology and this link was partially mediated by parenting processes. Some differences in these results were shown for adolescent females and males. Findings highlight parental mechanisms by which risk for psychopathology may be transmitted across generations and suggest avenues for clinical interventions.
Parents’ engagement in playing and learning is important for children’s development. Insufficient engagement of parents in such activities, however, has been reported in low- and middle-income countries. Additionally, there is evidence documenting that the extent of paternal stimulation is often much lower than that of maternal stimulation. The underlying reasons for such a difference, including those linked to levels of gender stratification or inequality within a society, have yet to be fully explored. Employing a cross-sectional analysis of a sample of 47 low- and middle-income countries with data between 2011 and 2016, the paper investigates the extent to which predictors linked to gender stratification theory influence the extent of parental stimulation with children in the home, and differences in maternal and paternal engagement. The analysis included seven country-level variables that are related to gender stratification in society as well as one country-level control variable (gross domestic product [GDP] per capita). Parental stimulation was measured in terms of the percentage of children aged 24–59 months whose mother or father engaged in certain activities such as singing or reading with them in the past 3 days. The analysis revealed that in all 47 countries, young children were more likely to receive stimulating care from their mothers than their fathers. On average, 34.7% of young children received four or more stimulating activities from their mothers compared to only 14.1% from their fathers. The results also showed that gender stratification in a society, especially within the economic, political, and reproductive autonomy domains, influences the proportion of children whose mothers/fathers were engaged in stimulating activities. Such factors, however, do not necessarily determine both parents’ behaviors in the direction expected by gender stratification theory.
Caregivers involved in child welfare report receiving fewer services than they anticipated or desired. To date, service needs and barriers research has focused on mental health care, though this pattern of unmet needs likely extends to other critically important areas (i.e., physical health, basic needs, school, social support). Further, there is lack of a standardized measure that captures these constructs. The current study developed a self-report measure of needs, use, and barriers across a wide range of service areas. Participants were caregivers of children involved in child abuse or neglect investigations (N = 32, 59% Latino, 50% alleged perpetrator) and were recruited as part of a larger study evaluating a multidisciplinary response to allegations in a metropolitan U.S. county. Items were generated based on existing needs assessments and consultation from researchers and caseworkers. The C-SNAB appeared to have adequate coverage of the breadth of services needed (33 items) and barriers faced (19) and had good predictive validity. About 93% of caregivers endorsed at least 1 unmet service need. Caregivers experienced an average of 4 unmet needs and 7 barriers to accessing services. The current study provides an approach to practically and comprehensively assessing service needs, use and barriers within this population.
Loneliness is a complex feeling associated with socio-emotional adjustment difficulties, particularly during adolescence. Such construct is often treated as unidimensional rather than multidimensional, moreover, studies consisting of both peer and family contexts, are very scarce. Adopting a multidimensional and person-centered approach, our study aimed to identify distinct clusters of adolescents with similar patterns of social and emotional loneliness with peers and family and to examine their differences in peer reported social adjustment, controlling for sex. Self-report and peer nomination data were collected from 691 participants (48.36% boys) aged between 11 and 16 years (M = 12.95, SD = 1.15). After controlling for age and preference for solitude, results revealed four clusters with specific configurations of loneliness forms and with different associations with positive or negative features of social adjustment to peer group. Two clusters exhibited adaptive profiles (lower vulnerability to maladjustment): less-lonely, and family-related loneliness profile, in which adolescents were viewed by peers as exhibiting more prosocial behaviors. The other two clusters displayed maladaptive profiles (higher vulnerability to maladjustment): more-lonely, and peer-related loneliness profile, in which adolescents were more likely viewed by their peers as socially withdrawn, peer-excluded, and peer-victimized. Additionally, our results revealed sex differences, with girls in the more-lonely profile showing significant higher social loneliness related to peer group, and higher social and emotional loneliness in family context. Our results highlight the importance of recognizing different forms of loneliness given the differences in adjustment to social contexts observed, shedding further light on this complex construct.
Women’s postpartum depression is the most common mental illness following childbirth. In the present study, we aimed to examine the association between intimacy and postnatal depression and to explain it through the mediating role of maternal self-efficacy. We also aimed to explore if the partner’s job stress moderates the proposed mediation model. Between November 1 and December 31, 2019, a sample of 85 couples of first-time parents, having a child aged 1–12 months, participated in this non-experimental cross-sectional study. Mothers completed measures of intimacy, maternal self-efficacy, postpartum depression, and religiosity, while fathers completed scales of job stress and religiosity. The results indicated that: (1) intimacy is negatively associated with postpartum depression, the regression analyses confirming that greater intimacy predicts lower levels of postpartum depression; (2) maternal self-efficacy partially mediates the relationship between intimacy and postpartum depression, (3) partner’s job stress moderates the link between intimacy and maternal self-efficacy, and (4) maternal religiosity and partner’s religiosity represent significative covariates of the moderated mediation model. The findings suggest that therapists should pay close attention to intimacy and variables that mediate and moderate its relationship with postnatal depression, maternal self-efficacy and partner’s job stress, to improve first-time mothers’ mental health.
The Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) intervention program is designed specifically for children with serious conduct problems and their families. The program also focuses on improving parents’ self-efficacy (PSE). The purpose of this study was to examine how the program impacts children’s behavior problems and PSE, and to explore the bidirectional longitudinal associations between children’s antisocial behaviors and their parents’ self-efficacy. Our study included 62 boys and 18 girls with mean age of 8.2 years old (SD = 1.8, range from 6 to 12 years) and their parents or caregivers. For each family, one parent or caregiver was asked to complete the psychometrics assessments even if both parents participated in the SNAP program. The following assessment tools were used in the pre- and post-tests: The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Teacher Report Form (TRF), Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and Tool to Measure Parent Self-Efficacy (TOPSE). Latent growth curve analyses indicated that SNAP effectively decreased antisocial behaviors (parents-reported effect sizes ranged from 0.39 to 0.66) and increased prosocial behaviors (effect size of 0.31) for participating children; parental self-efficacy also increased (effect sizes ranged from 0.14 to 0.56). Further, parallel process latent growth curve analysis indicated negative relationships between the PSE and behavior problems. Parents whose children had higher levels of behavior problems at admission were more likely to show greater improvements in PSE through the program. Our results further support SNAP’s focus on improving PSE as a mechanism to reduce behavior problems.
Extensive research has focused on the critical effect of parent-child interactions on peer victimization among children. However, the underlying mediating and moderating mechanisms of this association remain largely unknown. Thus, we examine whether parent-child relationships predict peer victimization through self-esteem and whether resilience moderates this mediation process. A sample of 65,868 fourth grade students aged 8-14 years (10.83 ± 0.83, 53.6% males) completed questionnaires assessing their parent-child relationships, self-esteem, resilience, and peer victimization. A moderated mediation model analysis showed that the negative associations between parent-child interactions and peer victimization were partially mediated by self-esteem. Resilience moderated the meditation process and all three mediated paths were stronger for children with high (vs. low) resilience. High resilience has adequate protection against peer victimization among children. Our findings indicate that poor parent-child relationships, low resilience and low self-esteem are all risk factors for increased levels of peer victimization among children. Resilience is underscored as a crucial protective factor, which could prevent the onset and exacerbation of peer victimization, while low self-esteem is also an important predictor of peer victimization originating from poor parent-child relationships. Thus, internal factors (such as resilience, and self-esteem) cultivated among children, but not external ones, may play key roles in intervening of peer victimization. The positive effects of family support should also be considered when developing intervention strategies to promote self-esteem among children being bullied at school.
Children’s experience of positive and negative affect is an understudied area that is associated with many negative consequences. Per the tripartite model of emotion, high levels of negative affect and low levels of positive affect are associated with depression. Parent behaviors have been associated with children’s experience of positive and negative affect; however, few studies look at the combination of multiple domains of parenting behavior. In this study we explored the relationship between five categories of parenting behavior (positive parenting, involvement, supervision and monitoring, inconsistent discipline, corporal punishment) and elementary students’ positive and negative affect. The Alabama Parenting Questionnaire and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for Children were completed by 777 third to fifth grade students in public elementary schools. Bi-variate correlations and two separate multiple regressions were calculated to determine if parenting behaviors predicted positive and negative affect in children. We found significant positive associations of positive parenting with positive affect in children, poor supervision and monitoring to be significantly negatively associated with children’s experience of positive affect, and corporal punishment to be significantly positively associated with negative affect in children. Finally, poor supervision and monitoring was significantly positively associated with children’s negative affect, and this remained after controlling for the associations of all other types of parenting behavior. Results suggest that positive parenting, corporal punishment, and poor supervision/monitoring may be key in understanding the development of positive and negative affect in children.
The family setting can be an opportunistic environment for parents and children to engage in physical activity (PA) together; however, there is still much to learn from families about their participation in family PA interventions. The findings presented in this paper are from an analysis of exit interviews with families (parents and children) who participated in a randomized controlled trial which explored planning as a strategy to increase PA. A rigorous inductive and deductive coding reliability thematic analysis taking a constructive realist perspective was used to code the interviews and determine themes. The major themes were benefits to family PA, barriers to family PA, and perspectives on research participation. Families identified many benefits to family PA including bonding and enjoyment. Barriers to family PA included complex family schedules and family differences. Important concerns with accelerometers, as well as perspectives on planning as a strategy and secondary fitness measurements were shared by families with respect to their research participation. Parents’ awareness of their influence on their children’s PA was noteworthy in this study. Planning was also perceived by the majority of families as beneficial, despite also voicing ongoing challenges with logistics. These findings support researchers who have previously suggested leveraging family-based tools and supports for enhanced PA engagement and adherence. Participants’ perceptions of weight-related benefits and secondary fitness measures may have both distracted and detracted from family PA uptake and potential maintenance. Future research could benefit from family system approaches, targeted protocols and more seamless technology to better engage families.
Registered Trial: clinicaltrials.gov # NCT01882192
The present study explored a complex model of the interplay between child shyness, maternal parenting practices, and parental beliefs about shyness in the prediction of indices of kindergarten socio-emotional functioning in mainland China. Participants were N = 883 children attending four kindergartens in Henan province (N = 373, Mage = 3.7 years, SD = 0.66 years; 51.6% boys) and eight kindergartens in Shanghai (N = 510, Mage = 4.4 years, SD = 0.91 years; 54.5% boys), People’s Republic of China. Multi-source assessments were employed, with mothers rating child shyness, as well as their own parenting practices and beliefs about shyness, and teachers assessing children’s socio-emotional adjustment in kindergarten. Results indicated that child shyness was indirectly associated with social-emotional difficulties via a mediated pathway through less adaptive parenting. Moreover, positive maternal beliefs about shyness served as a protective factor by reducing the magnitude of associations between child shyness and maladaptive parenting, as well as strengthening associations between child shyness and adaptive parenting. The findings underscore the importance of considering the meaning and implication of maternal beliefs about shyness and parenting in Chinese culture.
This study investigated the relations of adolescent COVID-19 knowledge, quarantine/lockdown experiences, and social media use with indices of their psychosocial adjustment. The sample consisted of 215 adolescents from throughout the United States, with adolescents ranging from ages 14 to 17. Better knowledge of COVID-19 was related to lower loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression, and fear of missing out (FoMO). Higher parent-reported restrictions during quarantine were associated with these difficulties as well. Further, the lowest anxiety was reported for adolescents with good COVID-19 knowledge who also checked social media relatively less frequently. The findings point to the importance of accurate information about COVID-19 for adolescents and the impact of quarantine/lockdown experiences on their perceived emotional and social adjustment.
Past research indicates that children who are adopted are more likely to live with two married parents than their peers, whereas children with disabilities are less likely to live in this family structure. However, few of these studies employed representative data and none examined how adoption and disability interact in their relationship to family structure. Using 2018 American Community Survey data (n = 3,125,485 children), we employed logistic regression models to predict the odds of a child residing with two married parents based on the child’s adoption status, disability status, and the interaction of the two. Our findings support the view that adoptive parents are a select group. Our interaction term shows that the negative relationship between disability status and living with two married parents was significantly weaker for children who were adopted than those who were not, suggesting that adoption is protective for children with disabilities. We also found, however, that adopted children with disabilities were significantly less likely to live with two married parents than adopted children without disabilities. This finding supports a cumulative stress perspective among parents who adopt children with disabilities. Further supporting cumulative stress theories, we found that adopted children with disabilities (n = 7661) in socioeconomically disadvantaged groups were less likely to reside with two married parents than their counterparts. These findings suggest that while adoptive parents are a select group, there is important heterogeneity among them. Our findings also illuminate the greater need to support families who adopt children with disabilities.
This study focuses on Switzerland where child-care is limited in offer and costly. It examines what child-care patterns parents of 0- to 4-years old children use; and, how different arrangements relate to several domains of mothers’ and fathers’ cognitive and affective subjective well-being (SWB). A major contribution of the present study is the distinction between child-care provided by parents, grandparents, relatives, formal institutions and mixed arrangements. Based on data from the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) from 2002 to 2017, multilevel regression models are applied to estimate the relationship between child-care arrangements and both parents’ SWB. The results demonstrate that grandparental care relates positively to both parents’ SWB: Compared to grandparental child-care, relatives and formal or mixed child-care arrangements tend to decrease most of the satisfaction dimensions. Formal child-care and child-care provided by relatives as well as mixed arrangements relate to a decrease in positive affect. Negative affect is not significantly associated to the different child-care arrangements.
Anxious and depressive symptoms often co-occur and are associated with difficulties in academic, social, and emotional areas of functioning. The current study identified the factor structure and profiles of symptoms of anxiety and depression among 169 Black early adolescents in sixth through eighth grade (Mage = 12.6 years; 50% female) using confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) and latent profile analyses (LPA), respectively. CFAs supported a six-factor model for depressive symptoms (i.e., dysphoria, social problems, externalizing, self-deprecation, biological dysregulation, and school problems) and a four-factor model for anxiety symptoms (i.e., social evaluation, worry, affective response, and physiological symptoms/sleep problems). These factors formed the profiles for the LPA analyses, and results supported a three-profile solution that included: (a) a low-severity group who reported few anxious or depressive symptoms, (b) a group who reported high levels of externalizing behaviors and moderate levels of school and social evaluation problems, and (c) a group who reported high levels of social evaluation problems and physiological/sleep anxiety. The three groups differed significantly in their ratings of anger regulation difficulties (i.e., anger emotion regulation coping, anger inhibition, and anger dysregulated expression) and their perceptions of the quality of school interpersonal relationships (i.e., student-teacher relationships and student-student relationships). These findings add to our knowledge about how patterns of depressive and anxious symptoms present for Black youth during adolescence and have important implications for the conceptualization, treatment, and prevention of anxiety and depression using culturally sensitive approaches.
Exposure to household chaos has important implications for youth’s developmental outcomes, yet variation exists in the exposure to such environments. The dopaminergic gene system represents a biologically relevant pathway that may help account for some of the variation in the home environment. The current study tests the association between mother’s and children’s dopaminergic genotype(s) and reports of family household chaos. Genotypic data for mothers and children (N = 2605) of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) are utilized to examine whether variation in mother’s and children’s dopaminergic polygenic scores comprised of four dopamine polymorphisms are associated with mother- and child-reported household chaos during ages 9–18. Children’s dopaminergic polygenic score was associated with maternal reports of household chaos at approximately age 9. Mother’s dopaminergic genotype was not significantly associated with maternal reports or child reports of household chaos. Variation in children’s dopaminergic genotype may be linked to maternal perceptions of household chaos, thereby suggesting the presence of an evocative and/or active gene-environment correlation during middle childhood.
Romanian emigration rates are among the highest in Europe. This cross-sectional study estimates the prevalence of full-threshold eating disorders (EDs) and other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFEDs) among left-behind female adolescents (LBFA) compared with non-left-behind female adolescents (NLBFA) living with their parents in Romania. In addition, we investigated the associations between full-threshold EDs and OSFEDs with self-esteem, hopelessness, and thin-ideal internalization in both groups. The data was collected from 717 female adolescents (aged 14-18). Results showed no significant differences in prevalence of full-threshold EDs and OSFEDs between LBFA (n = 128) and NLBFA (n = 589). Multiple logistic regressions revealed that self-esteem and zBMI were significant predictors of OSFEDs in the LBFA group, while thin-ideal internalization and self-esteem predicted OSFEDs in the NLBFA group. There was no significant association between presumptive predictors and full-threshold EDs among LBFA. Findings suggest that parental emigration is not associated with an increased prevalence of full and subthreshold EDs among female adolescents.
Parental accommodation refers to the ways in which parents modify their behavior to avoid or reduce the distress their child experiences. Parental accommodation of youth anxiety is common, and reduction in accommodation is associated with reduced anxiety after treatment. The current study evaluated the efficacy of an adapted cognitive behavioral therapy program designed to address parental accommodation (Accommodation Reduction Intervention; ARI). Participants (N = 60) were children and adolescents (age 7–17) and their parents who were evaluated for youth anxiety and parental accommodation before and after 16 weeks of treatment. Half (n = 30) participated in the open trial of ARI to evaluate its efficacy while half (n = 30) were a matched sample of youth who completed Coping Cat and served as a comparison condition. Results indicated that both youth anxiety and parental accommodation were significantly reduced in the ARI sample from pre to posttreatment. Exploratory analyses comparing ARI to Coping Cat found no significant difference between the two interventions on any measure of anxiety or accommodation. Findings indicate that an adapted cognitive behavioral therapy program that focuses on parent accommodation (ARI) produced favorable outcomes, and that these outcomes may be comparable to Coping Cat. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.
The opposition to culturally responsive teaching practices in the media overshadows the importance and benefits of these practices for minoritized children and families, given the disparate mental health and educational disparities for students of color. Therefore, this study assessed the relationship between parents' and legal guardians' perceptions of culturally responsive teaching practices to the perceptions of their elementary-aged children's mental health and well-being. This study also aimed to investigate the buffering role of culturally responsive teaching practices on the relationship between school discrimination and children's mental health outcomes. One hundred thirty-one diverse parents and legal guardians with children in elementary school (M age = 8.05) were recruited for participation. According to parents and legal guardians, teachers' culturally responsive practices were positively associated with children's prosocial behaviors and significantly moderated the relationship between discrimination and mental health, including internalizing behaviors. This study provides crucial information regarding cultural variables that should be considered in school professional development and educator practices for elementary-aged children.
The current study aims to examine the direct effect of perceptions of neighborhood safety on youth substance use (i.e., tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, other drugs). The study also aims to examine whether the risk pathway operates indirectly through self-esteem, and whether adult or peer support moderates this effect. Using an archival dataset, participants included 8461 youth (80.8% white, 54.2% female) between grades 6–10 completed measures on lack of neighborhood safety, self-esteem, substance use, and social support from parents, peers, and teachers. After controlling for demographic variables, lack of neighborhood safety was associated with greater substance use, with the risk pathway operating indirectly through self-esteem. Support from parents and teachers/staff were found to moderate the risk pathway, such that the effect of neighborhood safety on substance use decreased with increased support. These moderating effects were dependent on the type of substance being used: Based on the study findings, targeting self-esteem and fostering adult support systems may help reduce the negative effect perceptions of lack of neighborhood safety have on youth substance use outcomes.
Linked with a myriad of developmental outcomes, the parent-child relationship serves an important function, and it is therefore important that determinants of this relationship are elucidated so that optimal outcomes can be promoted. This study investigated links between parental attachment style and child temperament in the prediction of parent-child relationship quality during early adolescence. One hundred parents of 12–15-year-olds completed an online survey. Findings indicated that when examining parent attachment style alone, attachment-related anxiety but not avoidance predicted parent-child relationship quality. When examining child temperament alone, negative affect and affiliation predicted parent-child relationship quality. When examining both parental attachment style and child temperament in the same model, child temperament was uniquely predictive of the parent-child relationship quality. No moderation effects were detected. More precise models and expanded measures of parental attachment style, child temperament and parent-child relationship quality are recommended to fully capture the transactional and dynamic nature of the parent-child relationship.
Comorbid psychiatric presentations, defined as those who present with more than one mental and/or behavioral health diagnosis at the same time, during adolescence are on the rise. Mindfulness-based interventions can alleviate psychological symptoms and improve emotion regulation in youth. Mindfulness is a multifaceted phenomenon, with five underlying facets (Observing, Describing, Acting with Awareness, Non-Judgment and Non-Reactivity of Inner Experience). Little evidence has documented which facets produce pronounced psychiatric symptom reduction for adolescents. This pilot study examined the efficacy of an online mindfulness-based intervention delivered to adolescents undergoing mental health treatment during COVID-19 to reduce psychiatric outcomes. Fifty-six adolescents (m = 14.5 years, 66.1% female) categorized as moderate-risk (treatment histories of outpatient therapy only) or high-risk (treatment histories with intensive service participation) participated in the 8-session mindfulness-based intervention. Significant reductions in psychiatric symptoms and increases in adaptive coping strategies were observed at post-test, particularly for those at moderate-risk. Multivariate stepwise regression found significant associations between mindfulness facet use and anxiety, depression, and somatic symptoms (R² ranging from 42.5 to 52.8%). Results indicate preliminary efficacy for an online mindfulness-based intervention for adolescents, particularly those at moderate-risk, due to the introduction of new coping skills, given their history of less intense treatment. Further investigation is warranted to understand which mindfulness facet intervention components produce the most prominent outcomes.
This experimental study aimed to advance our understanding of parental negative attributions of children’s misbehavior (parental interpretations of what causes children’s misbehavior) and how they relate to other parental characteristics. Specifically, we examined: (1) How different measures of parental negative attributions relate to cognitive and affective parental characteristics (e.g., stress, temperament, parental self-efficacy); and (2) How reducing negative parental attributions affects parenting. In all steps, we differentiated between two types of negative parental attributions: parent-causal attributions (identifying one’s parenting or parent characteristics as cause for the child’s behavior) and child-responsible attributions (identifying the child as responsible for the behavior). Data were collected from 78 parents and their 3 to 5-year-old children (M = 51.67 months, SD = 8.56) in a lab experiment. Parents were randomly assigned to conditions aimed to reduce negative attributions (parent-causal, child-responsible) or a control condition. Results suggest that different parental characteristics tap into complementary aspects of negative parental attributions. Global parental negative attributions were associated with parent negative affect, laxness and positive discipline, and these associations were stronger for parent-causal than child-responsible attributions. Experimental manipulation of parental negative attributions seemed to reduce situation-specific attributions (both parent-causal and child-responsible), but not global attributions, parental self-efficacy or parenting behavior. Our findings suggest parental negative attributions of child’s misbehavior may be a node in the complex parenting network of parental cognitions, affect, and behavior. Understanding the causal effects and malleability of negative parental attributions may advance parenting process theory and practice.
Praise may have different effects on child self-esteem, depending on its informational and evaluative value. In this multiphase, multimethod investigation, we assessed the interplaying role of two outcome-oriented praises that differed in their informational and evaluative value (i.e., descriptive and non-specific praise) on indicators of child self-esteem. In phase 177 mothers reported on their usage of descriptive and non-specific praise, while their child (M = 10.09 years old) reported on their level of self-esteem. In phase 2, a subsample of 43 children completed an experimental art task during which an experimenter offered either descriptive or non-specific praise. Children then rated their competence at that task. Results from phase 1 showed that mother usage of descriptive and non-specific praise interacted to predict child self-esteem. Specifically, the relation between descriptive praise and child self-esteem was positive (vs. non-significant) when mothers used moderate to high (vs. low) amounts of non-specific praise. Furthermore, the relation between non-specific praise and child self-esteem was negative (vs. non-significant) when mothers used low (vs. moderate to high) levels of descriptive praise. Results from phase 2 showed that differences between descriptive and non-specific praise conditions emerged on child perceived competence for children reporting lower (but not higher) global self-esteem. Specifically, children with lower global self-esteem rated themselves as more competent when given descriptive (rather than non-specific) praise. Results underlie the relevance of including descriptive elements when offering outcome-oriented praise to children. They also advance the field by identifying different ways to offer outcome-oriented praise.
Marijuana use during adolescence may result in altered neurocognitive functioning; therefore, preventing or delaying the onset of marijuana use is a public health concern. Parenting styles have been consistently identified as influential risk factors for adolescent drug use. However, most relevant studies have focused on non-Latin American populations. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the influence of parenting styles on the reasons for Costa Rican adolescents’ willingness to use marijuana using Structural Equation Models. 728 urban and rural adolescents (aged 13–18) participated in the study. Mothers and fathers rated as having an authoritative style were negatively related to the willingness to use marijuana (β = −0.18 and β = −0.13, respectively, p < 0.05), while mothers and fathers rated as having an authoritarian style were positively associated with this outcome (β = 0.13, β = 0.12, respectively, p < 0.01). Mothers rated as having a permissive style showed a positive association too (β = 0.13, p < 0.01). An authoritative style in both parents was negatively associated with the reasons for willingness to use marijuana: emotion regulation, social approval and fun, and perceived access to marijuana. Meanwhile, an authoritarian style presented positive and significant associations. Mothers rated as having a permissive style were positively related to emotion regulation (β = 0.11, p < 0.05), and social approval and fun (β = 0.09, p < 0.05). Reasons to use marijuana vary according to parenting styles, sociocultural context and same-sex parent/child dyads (mother/daughter, father/son). Hence, a careful examination of the relationships between these variables in various adolescent subpopulations will be a critical step in developing practical, culturally tailored adolescent health promotion interventions.
Callous-unemotional (CU) traits have been linked to more severe and sustained behavior problems among adolescents. The aims of this study were to examine the treatment impact and malleability of CU traits among adolescents and explore potential moderation effects of treatment condition and CU sub-typology. A sample of 159 adolescents (45.9% girls; M age = 14.7 years, SD = 1.47) and their parents participated in a randomized controlled trial of Functional Family Therapy with three assessments (baseline, 6-months and 18-months) of behavior problems, CU traits, prosocial skills and the parent-youth relationship. Latent growth curve model (LGCM) analyses revealed that children with higher CU traits had greater reductions in aggressive and rule-breaking behavior and greater improvements in social skills (|standardized coefficients| = 0.27–0.32). Similarly, higher CU traits were linked to larger increases in parent-ratings of family cohesion and youth-ratings of maternal support (standardized coefficients = 0.26–0.27). Reliable Change Index summaries showed that CU traits remained unchanged for the majority of participants (73.6% and 72.6% had no reliable short- and long-term change, respectively). Baseline anxiety linked to CU sub-typology moderated some of the study results. Findings show that adolescents with co-occurring behavior problems and elevated CU traits can obtain improvement in behavioral and relational outcomes in out-patient treatment. Strikingly, such improvements can occur notwithstanding a limited reduction in CU traits. Future work should investigate whether the treatment gains would be more substantial and stable if treatment adjuncts modifying the CU traits themselves were concurrently deployed.
Racial socialization is a dynamic process for youth of color, especially for Black adolescents. What is less known is how the provision of racial socialization practices and messages may differ for varying ethnic groups of Black adolescents and what sociodemographic factors contribute to this difference. As such, this cross-sectional study investigated how African American and Black Caribbean adolescents are racially socialized by parents and support systems, including socialization frequency, sociodemographic contributors, and content. A sample of 1170 adolescents (Black Caribbean: n = 360; African American: n = 810) from the National Survey of American Life-Adolescents were assessed. Latent class analysis depicted two classes of socialization provision in both African American and Black Caribbean samples, as adolescents with greater provision received it most from family members across ethnic groups while friends were a distinguishing socializing agent across classes and ethnicities. Further, Black Caribbean adolescents socialized at a high frequency were not often socialized by other adults or friends, just parents and other family members. Some key demographic differences differentiated this provision, with region and income being the most prominent for African American and Black Caribbean families respectively. Finally, messages were fairly consistent across ethnic groups, save the advice to “keep it real” being significantly more provided to African American adolescents. Implications of these findings are relevant for interventions seeking to bolster socialization efforts across support systems and ethnic groups within the Black diaspora, with specific attention towards adolescents receiving “low” levels of socialization across their support system.