Do Positive Parenting Practices Moderate Parental Mental Health and Child Behavior Among Homeless Families?

Sharde Smith, Kendal Holtrop, Jamila Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The social interaction learning framework was used to explore whether positive parenting practices (noncoercive discipline, clear expectations, and praise and incentives) mitigated any effects of parent mental health (psychological distress and parenting stress) on child externalizing behaviors in a predominantly African American sample of homeless parents residing in transitional housing (N = 52, 79.6% female). The results showed that the positive relationship between psychological distress and child behavior was attenuated when parents provided high levels of praise and incentives. In addition, a positive relationship between parenting stress and child behavior existed only when parents transmitted low levels of praise and incentives. No significant findings existed for noncoercive discipline and clear expectations. The results suggest the need to further understand the positive aspects of parenting in the context of homelessness that can promote child adjustment even if parental mental health is compromised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-620
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Relations
Volume64
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Keywords

  • Child externalizing behavior
  • Homeless families
  • Parent mental health
  • Parenting practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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