Parenting young Latino children: Clinical and nonclinical samples

Maria Elena Perez, Marquette University


The purpose of the present study was to investigate parenting practices among Latina mothers of children aged 2 to 4 years, 11 months with externalizing behavior problems. The study included a comparison of parenting practices and expectations between mothers of children with or without clinically significant externalizing behavior problems. The sample consisted of 30 mothers of children with significant behavior problems (clinical group), and 30 mothers of children without significant behavior problems (nonclinical group). Mothers completed a demographics questionnaire and the Bidirectional Acculturation Scale for Hispanics to control for socioeconomic status and acculturation. They also completed the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory, a measure of child behavior problems. During a home visit, mothers completed the Kiddie-SADS Present and Lifetime version (K-SADS-PL), a semi-structured diagnostic clinical interview for their child. They also completed the Parenting Behavior Checklist, a measure of the parenting practices of discipline, nurturing, and developmental expectations of their child, and the Early Childhood behavior Questionnaire if their child was between 24 to 35 months or the Children's Behavior Questionnaire if their child was between 36 to 59 months, both measures of the child's temperament. Additionally, mothers were asked the following three open-ended questions: "How difficult has raising your child been for you," "How is raising this child different from what you expected," and "To what degree have you relied on others to help you with parenting." The examiner rated the quality of the parent-child relationship using a scale ranging from 1 to 100. Results showed that parents of the clinical sample had children with more difficult temperaments and more intense and frequent behavior problems than parents in the nonclinical sample. They also responded to their children with more frequent use of corporal and verbal punishment and less nurturing. Significant correlations were observed between parenting behaviors, frequency and intensity of behavior problems, and child temperament. Qualitative data suggested differences in maternal coping and stress as a function of child behavior problems. Observed parent-child interactions for the clinical group suggested impairments in the parent and child relationship. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.

Recommended Citation

Perez, Maria Elena, "Parenting young Latino children: Clinical and nonclinical samples" (2007). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3263818.