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21-02-2024 | Original Paper

Maternal Processes Contributing to Child Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms: Comparing Military, Two-parent, and Single-parent Families

Auteurs: Julie Wargo Aikins, Deane Aikins

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 5/2024

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Abstract

Following the United States’ recent engagements in military conflicts, the impact of parent deployment on child adaptation has become an increased focus of research. This study examined the contributions of maternal depressive affect and parenting stress to young children’s (ages 3 to 7) internalizing and externalizing symptomatology. In order to examine how these maternal factors contribute to child well-being, mean level differences and path analysis with group level modelling examined differences between military, single-parent and two-parent civilian families. Mean level differences reflected higher rates of difficulty for military homefront mothers in terms of depressive affect than either single or two-parent families and similar levels of parenting stress with single mothers. Military children demonstrated higher rates of internalizing or externalizing symptoms than children in single or two-parent families. Path analysis results indicated group level differences in links between maternal depressive affect and internalizing symptoms, with military families having stronger associations than single parent families. No group level differences were found between maternal depressive affect and externalizing symptoms. Associations between parenting stress and internalizing symptoms were stronger for military families than two parent families but weaker than single parent families, while the links between parenting stress and externalizing symptoms were the same for military and for single-parent families. These findings have important implications regarding potential intervention/prevention approaches for military families, suggesting that it may be particularly beneficial to target homefront mothers’ depressive affect and parenting stress during deployment as a means for promoting positive child outcomes.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Maternal Processes Contributing to Child Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms: Comparing Military, Two-parent, and Single-parent Families
Auteurs
Julie Wargo Aikins
Deane Aikins
Publicatiedatum
21-02-2024
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Child and Family Studies / Uitgave 5/2024
Print ISSN: 1062-1024
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2843
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-024-02798-y

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