Using data from the add-on 5-year cohort of In-Home Longitudinal Study of preschool aged Children of the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study (FFCWS), we examined the mediating role of maternal warmth in the associations between positive and harsh maternal practices and children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors. The sample consisted of 1,922 low-income Hispanic American, African American, and European American families. For European Americans, the links between maternal psychological aggression and hostility and children's externalizing behaviors were direct. Similarly, for Hispanic Americans, the links between maternal psychological aggression, physical assault, and hostility and externalizing behaviors were direct, as was the link between maternal physical assault and internalizing behaviors. For African Americans, maternal warmth partially mediated the links between maternal hostility and physical assault and externalizing behaviors. However, the associations between psychological aggression and externalizing and internalizing behaviors were direct. The data are discussed with respect to similarities in cultural pathways of influence between harsh maternal treatment and children's behavioral difficulties across ethnic groups.
- Externalizing behaviors
- Harsh treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science