Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors among Ukrainian Children: The Role of Family Communication and Maternal Coping

Viktor Burlaka, Qi Wu, Shiyou Wu, Iuliia Churakova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This study aims to explore the relationship of mother’s ways of coping with stress and family communication with the child internalizing and externalizing behaviors in Ukraine. Methods: In a cross-sectional sample of 294 mother-and-child (9–16 years of age) Ukrainian dyads, mothers answered questions from the revised Ways of Coping Checklist, FACES Family Communication scale, Child Behavior Checklist, and questions about their sociodemographic characteristics. Results: Robust regression results suggest increased internalizing behaviors were statistically associated with poor family communication (b = −.19, 95% CI [−.30, −.08], p <.01), maternal coping by accepting responsibility (b = 2.14, 95% CI [.44, 3.84], p < 0.05), escape-avoidance (b = 3.79, 95% CI [1.00, 6.58], p < 0.01), planful problem solving (b = 2.80, 95% CI [.61, 4.99], p < 0.05), child female gender (b = −2.53, 95% CI [−4.22, −.83], p <.01) and lower family income (b = −.003, 95% CI [−.006, −.0001], p <.01). Increased child externalizing behaviors were statistically associated with maternal seeking social support (b = 3.25, 95% CI [1.06, 5.43], p <.01), decreased positive reappraisal (b = −1.52, 95% CI [−2.91, −.12], p <.05), maternal unemployment (b = −2.80, 95% CI [−5.30, −.30], p <.05), poor family communication (b = −.46, 95% CI [−.59, −.34], p <.001), and child male gender (b = 3.48, 95% CI [1.53, 5.44], p <.01). Poor family communication was linked with significantly higher increase in internalizing behaviors for girls compared to boys (b =.17, 95% CI [.03,.32], p <.05). Conclusions: When examining child internalizing and externalizing behaviors it is important to consider the role of family communication and maternal coping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Child mental health
  • Children and families
  • Coping
  • Family communication
  • Ukraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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