Defining characteristics and potential consequences of caretaking burden among children living in urban poverty

Thomas J. McMahon, Suniya S. Luthar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parentification of children has not been the focus of much empirical research. Consequently, this study was designed to explore the defining characteristics and potential consequences of caretaking burden in a sample of 356 children living in urban poverty. In a series of multivariate analyses, characteristics of the children, vocational-educational status of their mothers, and family structure correlated with caretaking burden more consistently than psychiatric, substance use, or personality problems in the mothers. Moreover, responsibility to care for mother, more so than responsibility for household chores or the care of siblings, consistently correlated with the psychosocial adjustment of the children. However, even the highest levels of caretaking burden were not consistently associated with clinically significant compromise of psychosocial adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-281
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007

Keywords

  • Caregiver burden
  • Childhood development
  • Dysfunctional family
  • Parent-child relations
  • Urban poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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