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Youth are faced with many stressful interpersonal, contextual, and identify development related challenges that contribute to the increased risk of negative outcomes during adolescence. The current study examined two important factors related to youth’s development and well-being: parent–child attachment and negative body image. Specifically, the current study examined body image as one mechanism responsible for the effect that mother and father attachment has on internalizing symptoms in a sample of low-income, ethnic minority youth. Additionally, differences across gender and ethnic/racial groups were examined. Participants included 140 (71 % female) ages 10–16 at baseline recruited from urban public schools in Chicago with high percentages of low-income students. The current sample was ethnically diverse (41 % African American, 30 % Latino, 16 % European American, 6 % Biracial, 6 % Asian, and 1 % other). Participants completed measures of their relationships with their mothers and fathers, negative body image, and internalizing symptoms across two periods of time separated by approximately 1 year. Results showed that body image mediated the relation between both mother and father attachment and internalizing symptoms. These results were further moderated by race/ethnicity, but not by sex. For African American participants, mother attachment was related to internalizing symptoms through negative body image while for Latinos, paternal attachment was related to internalizing symptoms through negative body image. Although maternal attachment had direct effects on internalizing symptoms for Latinos, negative body image did not mediate this relationship. These results support an integrative model in which interpersonal risk lays the foundation for the development of cognitive risk, which in turn leads to internalizing symptoms for urban youth.
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- Mediating Effects of Parent–Child Relationships and Body Image in the Prediction of Internalizing Symptoms in Urban Youth
Jocelyn Smith Carter
Kathryn E. Grant
- Springer US