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Dysfunctional discipline has been linked with a variety of negative outcomes in children and is positively correlated with parent-reported stress. Furthermore, parental attributions have been supported as a mediator of the relation between stress and dysfunctional discipline. Race/ethnicity may additionally play a moderating role in these pathways, and racial/ethnic differences in parenting practices are often noted. This study examined a moderated-mediational model in which specific parental attributions (i.e., Stable, Internal, and Blaming/Intentional) mediated the association between parent-reported stress and dysfunctional discipline (i.e., Lax, Overreactive, and Hostile). Race/ethnicity was examined as a moderator of the association between parental attributions and dysfunctional discipline in a sample of 234 low-income adult caregivers at high-risk of child maltreatment. Overall, Stable and Blaming/Intentional attributions were found to explain the pathway between parent-reported stress and both Overreactivity and Hostility. Furthermore, race/ethnicity functioned as a differential moderator. Among Hispanic caregivers, the pathways to both Overreactivity and Hostility were explained by Stable attributions. Conversely, within the African American caregivers, only Blaming/Intentional attributions served as a mediator for Overreactivity and Hostility. Finally, among Caucasian caregivers, Stable attributions only explained Hostile discipline practices, while Blaming/Intentional attributions served as the pathway for both Overreactivity and Hostility. These findings provide the literature with a broader understanding of parent-reported stress and dysfunctional discipline and suggest different attributional treatment targets for caregivers from different racial/ethnic groups.
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- When and How Do Race/Ethnicity Relate to Dysfunctional Discipline Practices?
Ericka Ball Cooper
Maxx D. Airrington
Amanda C. Venta
- Springer US