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01-04-2012 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2012

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2012

Maternal-Related Predictors of Self-Regulation Among Low-Income Youth

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2012
Isabelle A. Crossley, John C. Buckner


The association between self-regulation and various adaptive outcomes has become a topic of growing interest to researchers. Yet, there is not much research on predictors of self-regulation in children. Using a cross-sectional design and an array of psychometrically sound scales and measures from multiple informants, this study examined whether maternal characteristics, namely maternal mental health, substance abuse, parenting practices, and child monitoring predicted self-regulation in children. Participants included a culturally diverse group of 155 youths (ages 8–17) and their mothers, all of whom were part of a larger investigation of low-income families in a mid-sized Northeastern city in the United States. Results showed that maternal substance abuse, parenting practices and parental monitoring independently predicted children’s self-regulation, accounting for 23% of the variance. Additional analyses indicated that parenting practices may partly mediate the effect of maternal mental health on children’s self-regulation. Implications for intervention and practice, especially those aimed to mitigate the detrimental effects of maternal mental health problems on children’s self-regulation, are discussed. Further research, both longitudinal and experimental, is warranted in order to extend this line of investigation.

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