Associations Among Child Perceptions of Parenting Support, Maternal Parenting Efficacy and Maternal Depressive Symptoms

Melissa A. Barnett, Tomas Cabeza de Baca, Ashley Jordan, Elizabeth Tilley, Bruce J. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Children and parents often rely on the support provided by non-parental adults such as extended family members. Expanding conceptualizations of social support beyond traditional nuclear family paradigms to include non-parental adults may be particularly relevant to identifying family strengths among economically disadvantaged and Latino families. Objective: In the present study, we examine the extent to which child reports of parenting support provided by non-parental adults are linked to variations in mother-reported parenting efficacy and depressive symptoms, and whether these associations vary according to maternal marital status and Latino/Hispanic race/ethnicity. Methods: The present study considers how child-reported social support specific to parenting is associated with maternal self-reported wellbeing among a community sample of 59 mothers and their 10–12 year-old children. Results: Findings indicate that controlling for maternal perceptions of global social-emotional support, parenting support is inversely related to parenting efficacy among single mother and Latino/Hispanic families. Further, Latino/Hispanic children of mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms report greater support from non-parental adults. Conclusions: These results suggest that parenting support may in this cross-sectional study be a response to maternal need. Further, the function of support from non-parental adults may vary for single-mother versus two-parent families, and Latino/Hispanic families in comparison to European American families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalChild and Youth Care Forum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Latino families
  • Parental depression
  • Parenting efficacy
  • Single-mother families
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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