Coparenting cooperation and child adjustment in low-income mother-grandmother and mother-father families

Melissa A. Barnett, Laura V. Scaramella, Lucy McGoron, Kristin Callahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Coparenting represents an important resource for mothers and children, particularly those confronting the multiple risks associated with economic disadvantage. The present study considers how coparenting cooperation in mother-grandmother and mother-father families relates to mothers' parenting and children's adjustment among a community sample of 117 urban, low-income, predominantly African American families with one preschool and one early school age child. Unique to the present study was almost equal representation of mother-grandmother and mother-father coparent families. We examined whether mother-reported coparenting cooperation was associated with mothers' harsh and positive parenting, and children's social competence and behavior problems.We also considered whether patterns linking coparenting cooperation to parenting and child development were consistent across coparenting configuration and child age. Results indicate positive influences of coparenting cooperation on mothers' positive parenting of older siblings, and on younger and older children's social competence. No differences between coparenting configurations emerged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalFamily Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011


  • Coparenting
  • Early childhood
  • Fathers
  • Grandmothers
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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