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Keywords:

  • neighborhood;
  • parenting;
  • race

This prospective longitudinal study examined the unique and combined effects of neighborhood characteristics on parental behaviors in the context of more distal and more proximal influences. With a sample of 368 mothers from high-risk communities in 4 parts of the United States, this study examined relations between race (African American or European American), locality (urban or rural), neighborhood characteristics, family context, and child problem behaviors, and parental warmth, appropriate and consistent discipline, and harsh interactions. Analyses testing increasingly proximal influences on parenting revealed that initial race differences in warmth and consistent discipline disappeared when neighborhood influences were considered. Although generally culture and context did not moderate other relations found between neighborhood characteristics, family context, and child behaviors, the few interactions found highlight the complex influences on parenting.