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17-07-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2016

Self-Reported Parenting of Clinic-Referred and Non-referred Mexican American Mothers of Young Children

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2016
Kristen M. McCabe, Molly Mechammil, May Yeh, Argero Zerr


Behavioral parent training (BPT) interventions for child behavior problems have been based on decades of research that demonstrate links between particular parent behaviors and child externalizing problems. However, the majority of this research has been conducted with European-American (EA) families, and less is known about whether these findings can be generalized to Mexican Americans (MAs). In the current study, we investigated self-reported parenting practices that have been associated with externalizing behavior problems among EA families (harsh parenting, inconsistency, and low parental warmth), to determine if those practices can also differentiate MA mothers whose young children have clinically significant behavior problems from MA mothers whose children do not have behavior problems. Participants were 115 MA families with young children, 58 with a child with clinically significant behavior problems and 57 with a child in the normal range for such problems. Results indicated that MA mothers whose children have behavior problems self-reported significantly less warmth and consistency and more harsh parenting compared to parents whose children’s behavior was in the normal range. These findings indicate that parenting behaviors that are associated with externalizing behavior problems among EA families are associated with the same problems among MA families with young children, suggesting that parent training interventions designed to target these behaviors are also likely to be relevant to MA families with children in this age range. However, findings also indicate that parenting behaviors differ depending on acculturation level, suggesting that BPT programs must respond to variation in normative parenting practices for MA families.

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