Influence of child behavioral problems and parenting stress on parent-child conflict among low-income families: The moderating role of maternal nativity

Aileen S. Garcia, Lixin Ren, Jan M. Esteraich, Helen H. Raikes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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This study was designed to examine whether parenting stress and child behavioral problems are significant predictors of parent-child conflict in the context of low-income families and how these relations are moderated by maternal nativity. The authors conducted multiple regression analyses to examine relations between teachers’ report of behavioral problems among preschoolers and self-report of parenting stress and parent-child conflict in a sample of 236 mothers. Findings showed that for both U.S.-born and foreign-born mothers, higher parenting stress is associated with greater parent-child conflict. Child behavioral problems are positively linked to parent-child conflict, but only for the U.S.-born mothers. The common experience of stress brought about by financial difficulties may account for the similar relation between stress and parent-child conflict among U.S.-born and foreign-born mothers. Different cultural backgrounds leading to different parenting beliefs and practices may explain the contrasting relation of parent-child conflict and child behavioral problems between the two groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-339
Number of pages29
JournalMerrill-Palmer Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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