Financial Stress, Parental Depressive Symptoms, Parenting Practices, and Children's Externalizing Problem Behaviors: Underlying Processes


  • Department of Family and Housing Studies, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 712-749, South Korea.

  • Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55454.

Department of Family and Child Studies, Montclair State University, 4180 University Hall, Montclair, NJ 07043 (


This study examined the relationships among financial stress encountered by families, parents' social support, parental depressive symptoms, parenting practices, and children's externalizing problem behaviors to advance our understanding of the processes by which family financial stress is associated with children's problem behaviors. We also tested moderated mediation to investigate if these relationships differed depending on children's characteristics. The data were drawn from 290 predominantly rural families with young children who were identified as at risk for the development of serious conduct problems. Using structural equation modeling, we found that the relationship between family income and children's externalizing problem behaviors was mediated by parents' social support, parental depressive symptoms, and parenting practices. The results also showed that the children's levels of aggression severity, academic functioning, and developmental strengths moderated the mediating relationships between family income and parental depressive symptoms and between family income and positive parenting.