Longitudinal and Reciprocal Relations Among Parent and Child Outcomes for Black Early Head Start Families
Research Findings: Structural racism places Black families at heightened risk for stress, parenting challenges, and child developmental concerns. These impacts on families persist across the lifespan, though Black families also thrive in spite of the oppression they face. Federally funded programs like Early Head Start (EHS) show promise in supporting vulnerable families and children, and particularly for low-income Black families. The current study examined processes of change over time among parenting behavior, parenting stress, child behavior, and child verbal skills for low-income Black EHS participants as well as control participants. Our findings suggest that functioning at age 1 drives functioning through age 3. Early parenting is a key driver of verbal skills, but less so child behavior. While child behavior and verbal skills do not show significant reciprocal relations in this population, child behavior does show reciprocal relations with parenting stress over time. Furthermore, program participation appears to attenuate the impacts of early parenting behavior and early parenting stress on later parenting behavior and parenting stress. Overall, our results highlight the importance of early support to promote supportive parenting and reduce parenting stress. Practice or Policy: Findings highlight the value of support early in infancy to foster thriving for low-income Black families.
Early Education and Development
Black children, parenting, child behavior, families, verbal behavior, parent-child relationships, poor families, institutional racism, time pressure
Heberle, Amy E. and Chazan-Cohen, Rachel, "Longitudinal and Reciprocal Relations Among Parent and Child Outcomes for Black Early Head Start Families" (2023). Psychology. 509.