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13-08-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 10/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 10/2020

Testing the Family Stress Model among Black Women Receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 10/2020
Auteurs:
Samantha C. Holmes, Maria M. Ciarleglio, Xuemei Song, Ashley Clayton, Megan V. Smith
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Abstract

Black female primary caregivers who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are burdened not only by economic pressure but also by a disproportionate prevalence of psychological disorders. This is particularly pernicious given that poverty and maternal mental health impact child outcomes and may decrease the economic mobility of families. Consequently, it is imperative to understand the mechanisms that explain the association between economic pressure and child outcomes. The current study addressed this gap by testing an application of the Family Stress Model (FSM), which describes how economic pressure results in parental psychological distress, particularly depression, and in turn impacts parenting quality and child outcomes. Additionally, social support was assessed as a potential culturally-salient protective factor within the model. Four hundred sixteen Black female primary caregivers who receive TANF were administered a series of measures assessing mental health and family wellbeing. Structural equation modeling was utilized to test a single model that incorporated all hypotheses. Maternal depression and quality of parenting serially mediated the relationship between economic pressure and school performance. The relationship between economic pressure and adverse child outcomes, however, was mediated only by maternal depression. Social support did not significantly moderate the relationship between economic pressure and maternal depression; however, it did demonstrate a significant direct effect on maternal depression. The current study corroborates the application of FSM to another population. Further, it demonstrates the importance of interventions that target maternal mental health, parenting, social support, and family economic mobility as well as system-level policy interventions to address poverty.

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