The effects of parents' working conditions and family economic hardship on parenting behaviors and children's self-efficacy

Les B. Whitbeck, Ronald L. Simons, Rand D. Conger, K. A.S. Wickrama, Kevin A. Ackley, Glen H. Elder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study we investigated the effects of parents'working conditions and family economic hardship on parenting behaviors, and their subsequent effects on the self-efficacy of adolescent children. We ran separate structural equation models for employed fathers (n 316) and mothers (n 316) in intact, dual-earner families. The models employed panel data at four points in time, and used multiple reporters to reduce measurement error. Both the father's working conditions and the family's economic stress affected the father's parenting behaviors. For employed mothers, in rural dual-earner families, only family economic strain affected parenting behaviors; this finding was attributed to employment characteristics of the women in our sample. Parents' use of inductive parenting techniques and avoidance of harsh parenting behaviors, in turn, contributed to adolescents' self-efficacy. The effects of fathers' working conditions on parenting practices and children's outcomes remained robust even when family economic strain was included in the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-303
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Psychology Quarterly
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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