Multigenerational Homes Buffered Behavioral Problems among Children of Latinx but not White non-Latinx Mothers

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Guided by a culture-sensitive attachment framework (Keller, 2016), the purpose of the current study was to examine multigenerational homes as moderators on the associations among maternal depressive symptoms, maternal-child attachment, and child behavioral problems, between White and Latinx women. A subsample (n = 2,366) of The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) – previously known as the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study – was used with three time points (at child ages 1-, 3-, and 5-years). Mothers reported their depressive symptoms at child age 1, mother-child attachment at child age 3, and child behavioral problems at child age 5. Home structure was assessed through the mothers’ responses at child ages 1 and 3. A path model was used to examine the associations among maternal depressive symptoms, mother-child attachment insecurity, and child behavioral problems, with comparisons among four groups: White non-multigenerational homes, White multigenerational homes, Latinx non-multigenerational homes, and Latinx multigenerational homes. Findings revealed that higher mother-child attachment insecurity at age 3 predicted higher internalizing behaviors at age 5, only among children in Latinx, non-multigenerational homes, but not among those in Latinx, multigenerational homes or White homes. This study revealed significant cultural and ethnical differences in household living arrangements and child wellbeing, with significant theoretical contributions to the understanding of cultural phenomena in attachment research and implications towards designing culturally sensitive intervention programs.

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In Press
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology