Family Contexts: Parental Experiences of Discrimination and Child Mental Health

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on the mental health correlates of discrimination traditionally has been intra-individual, focusing exclusively on the individual directly experiencing discrimination. A small number of studies have begun to consider the links between parental experiences of discrimination and child mental health, but little is known about potential underlying mechanisms. The present study tested the independent mediating effects of parent mental health and household socioeconomic status on the associations between parental experiences of discrimination (past-year perceived discrimination and perceptions of being unaccepted culturally) and child mental health (internalizing and externalizing symptoms) using a bootstrapping analytic approach. Data were drawn from racial/ethnic minority (n = 383) and White (n = 574) samples surveyed in an urban Midwestern county. For all measures of discrimination and child mental health, findings supported an association between parental experiences of discrimination and child mental health. Whereas parent mental health served as a significant mediator in all analyses, socioeconomic status did not. Mediation findings held for both the White and racial/ethnic minority samples. Results suggest that parental experiences of discrimination and mental health may contribute to child mental health concerns, thus highlighting the role of family contexts in shaping child development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Volume53
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

Keywords

  • Child mental health
  • Cultural acceptance
  • Discrimination
  • Family contexts
  • Parent mental health
  • Racial/ethnic minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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