Abstract: Chancla or Time-out? Maternal Parenting Practices and Youth Externalizing Problem Behaviors in Culturally Discrepant Latino Families (Society for Social Work and Research 28th Annual Conference - Recentering & Democratizing Knowledge: The Next 30 Years of Social Work Science)

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505P-A Chancla or Time-out? Maternal Parenting Practices and Youth Externalizing Problem Behaviors in Culturally Discrepant Latino Families

Saturday, January 13, 2024
Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
* noted as presenting author
Jaime Fuentes-Balderrama, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Ruben Parra-Cardona, PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Global Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Alyssa Vanderziel, PhD, Research Scientist, Henry Ford Health, MI
Background: Research regarding the parental efficacy in Latino origin families living in the United States has shown parenting practices are the most common resource mothers employ in the management and prevention of youth externalizing problem behaviors. Regardless, sparse efforts have been made to identify how discrepant cultural affinities between mothers and their youth shape parental efficacy. This pilot study’s purpose was twofold: 1) Investigate associations between mother-reported parenting practices and youth-reported externalizing problem behaviors, as well as to 2) Determine whether these associations differ when there is a discrepancy of cultural affinities between Latina mothers and their U.S. born children.

Method: 65 dyads were recruited from Detroit. They were mainly of Mexican origin, most had more than 15 years living in the U.S. and had at least one U.S. born youth between 12-14 years of age without problem behaviors in clinical ranges. Cultural affinity profiles for mothers and focal child were calculated using the Bicultural Involvement Questionnaire. High cultural affinity was indicated when a participant scored higher than the child or mother group means for the Hispanicism or Americanism scales. These cultural affinities were then compared within each dyad. 34 participating dyads presented discrepant cultural affinities and 31 concurring cultural affinities. To fulfill our first purpose, we constructed a Bayesian-Estimated multilevel model of children nested in households. Our second objective was tested through a multi-level interaction term between the cultural discrepancy dummy variable and each parenting practice.

Results: As an initial step, normality and descriptive analyses were conducted. To identify potential confounders in the main model, a MANCOVA was computed. Mean comparison analysis found no differences in levels of parenting practices, parenting stress nor problem behaviors between dyads with and without a cultural discrepancy. The final multilevel model identified meaningful associations from proactive parenting, parenting stress and setting boundaries with externalizing problem behaviors. The moderation term indicated setting boundaries only presents an association for dyads without a cultural discrepancy. There was very strong evidence in favor of the model with medium effect-size prior distributions on parenting practices, when compared to the model with small effect-size priors and extreme evidence in favor when compared to the model with big effect-size priors. Model effective sample sizes ranged from 3995 to 6061, all parameter estimates converged, no divergent transitions were reported.

Conclusions: Maternal parenting practices presented associations with youth externalizing problem behaviors. A mother-child discrepancy in cultural affinity effectively moderated the strength of the association of parental setting boundaries with youth reported externalizing problem behaviors. Beyond parental efficacy in a multi-informant approach, these results evidence the immense relevance of accounting for cultural factors when working with Latino origin families in the U.S., and how essentially necessary it is to culturally adapt parenting interventions with this population. This demonstrates the need to explore culturally relevant parenting for Latino origin youth. Considering high rates of undesirable developmental outcomes, gang violence, substance use and school truancy in Latino origin children in the U.S., promoting these lines of research are an urgent call for public health research.