Methods: Using a sample of 375 African American youth (average age = 15.5; SD=2.2) recruited from public housing in three large US cities, this paper attempts to rectify the observed gap in knowledge by assessing how variations in maternal caregiver types are associated with their child’s perceived child / parent relationship, and their child's adverse community exposures. We use Latent Profile Analysis to identify various maternal caregiver classes. Then we used One-way ANOVA and a Multinominal Logistic Regression to assess means difference across classes and to assess whether or not youth could be correctly classified into maternal caregivers’ classes, respectively.
Results: The overall multinomial logistic regression model was significant, explaining 39% of the variance in the model (X2 = 157.37(24); R2 = .398; p < .000). The High-High group served as the reference group for this analysis. We identified three maternal caregiver classes, and correctly classified 87% of the youth into caregiver classes. Results also suggests that youth in higher types of maternal caregivers (i.e., highly supportive and highly monitored) were associated with higher parent / child relationship and lower community violence. Implications for practice are discussed.
Conclusion & Implications: These findings highlight the critical role maternal caregivers play in buffering against negative peer influences and reducing negative community exposures in their adolescent children in public housing. Within this dyad, maternal encouragement and monitoring serve as protective factors that enhance youth outcomes. Practitioners working with maternal caregivers in this environment may need to develop context-specific training and interventions to further enhance encouragement behaviors. Attention could be devoted to understanding barriers to maternal monitoring in resource-constrained environments.