Investigated the relationship between poverty and parenting in a sample of low birth weight (≤ 2,500 grams) premature (LBWPT) infants (gestation ≤ 37 weeks) who were control subjects in the Infant Health and Development Program. When classified using federal poverty levels, poor families seared lower on the HOME inventory (used to measure the caregiving environment) than nonpoor families. A regression model including poverty, race, site, and representative environmental, maternal, and child variables accounted for 60% of variance in total HOME scores. Poverty and maternal IQ had significant and independent effects on HOME scores, whereas maternal distress accounted for little of the variance. In a LBWPT sample, our results find a strong relationship between parenting and poverty, suggest a modest role for maternal psychological distress in this relationship, and indicate that the influence of poverty likely extends beyond commonly measured environmental, maternal, and child factors.
- home environment
- low birth weight
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology