Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The mediating effect of harsh parenting on the association between family poverty and child academic achievement

Class

Article

Department

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Faculty Mentor

Lori Roggman

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

One in five U.S. children lives in poverty. There are 14.7 million poor children and 6.5 million extremely poor children (Children's Defense Fund, 2015). Children raised in impoverished environments are more likely to experience lower levels of academic achievement than their more advantaged peers (Strelitz & Lister, 2008). Low-income parents tend to exert a harsh parenting style that is based on parental control over the child (Engle & Black, 2008). Research has shown that whereas positive parenting can reduce the negative effect of poverty on children's school achievement (Kiernan & Mensah, 2011), harsh parenting has the opposite effect (Vogel et al., 2010). The purpose of this study was to explore harsh parenting as a mediator of the association of poverty with academic problems of children from poor family backgrounds. Data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project Study sample (EHSREP; Vogel et al., 2010) provided an opportunity to examine children's academic functioning in relation to harsh parenting at age 11 years (N=1,632). Using a parenting resilience model, it was hypothesized that the association between poor family environments and child academic achievement would be mediated by harsh parenting. Hierarchical regression to explore mediation showed that harsh parenting had a partial mediating effect for the pathway from family income to child academic skills, as shown by a substantial decrease in the coefficient for family income after harsh parenting was added to the model and by a significance test of the indirect effect. This study supports the importance of consequences and correlates of the quality of parenting that influences child academic development in a context of poverty. Therefore, guiding parents in low-income families to reduce hash parenting and increase positive interactions with their children would provide greater leverage for children to succeed academically.

Start Date

4-9-2015 1:30 PM

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Apr 9th, 1:30 PM

The mediating effect of harsh parenting on the association between family poverty and child academic achievement

One in five U.S. children lives in poverty. There are 14.7 million poor children and 6.5 million extremely poor children (Children's Defense Fund, 2015). Children raised in impoverished environments are more likely to experience lower levels of academic achievement than their more advantaged peers (Strelitz & Lister, 2008). Low-income parents tend to exert a harsh parenting style that is based on parental control over the child (Engle & Black, 2008). Research has shown that whereas positive parenting can reduce the negative effect of poverty on children's school achievement (Kiernan & Mensah, 2011), harsh parenting has the opposite effect (Vogel et al., 2010). The purpose of this study was to explore harsh parenting as a mediator of the association of poverty with academic problems of children from poor family backgrounds. Data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project Study sample (EHSREP; Vogel et al., 2010) provided an opportunity to examine children's academic functioning in relation to harsh parenting at age 11 years (N=1,632). Using a parenting resilience model, it was hypothesized that the association between poor family environments and child academic achievement would be mediated by harsh parenting. Hierarchical regression to explore mediation showed that harsh parenting had a partial mediating effect for the pathway from family income to child academic skills, as shown by a substantial decrease in the coefficient for family income after harsh parenting was added to the model and by a significance test of the indirect effect. This study supports the importance of consequences and correlates of the quality of parenting that influences child academic development in a context of poverty. Therefore, guiding parents in low-income families to reduce hash parenting and increase positive interactions with their children would provide greater leverage for children to succeed academically.