Social Skills and Behavior Problems of Urban, African American Preschoolers: Role of Parenting Practices, Family Conflict, and Maternal Depression

Authors

  • Sally A. Koblinsky PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Maryland, College Park
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      Sally A. Koblinsky, PhD, Katherine A. Kuvalanka, MS, and Suzanne M. Randolph. PhD, Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

  • Katherine A. Kuvalanka MS,

    1. University of Maryland, College Park
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      Sally A. Koblinsky, PhD, Katherine A. Kuvalanka, MS, and Suzanne M. Randolph. PhD, Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

  • Suzanne M. Randolph PhD

    1. University of Maryland, College Park
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      Sally A. Koblinsky, PhD, Katherine A. Kuvalanka, MS, and Suzanne M. Randolph. PhD, Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.


  • This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Early Childhood Development and Education Grant R307F60099.

1204 Marie Mount Hall, Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. E-mail: koblinsk@umd.edu

Abstract

This study examined the role of parenting, family routines, family conflict, and maternal depression in predicting the social skills and behavior problems of low-income African American preschoolers. A sample of 184 African American mothers of Head Start children completed participant and child measures in a structured interview. Results of regression analyses revealed that mothers who utilized more positive parenting practices and engaged in more family routines had children who displayed higher levels of total prosocial skills. Positive parenting and lower levels of maternal depressive symptoms were predictive of fewer externalizing and internalizing child behavior problems. Lower family conflict was linked with fewer externalizing problems. Implications of the study for future research and intervention are discussed.

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