Economic pressure in African American families: a replication and extension of the family stress model

Dev Psychol. 2002 Mar;38(2):179-93.


This study of 422 two-caregiver African American families, each with a 10-11-year-old focal child (54% girls), evaluated the applicability of the family stress model of economic hardship for understanding economic influences on child development in this population. The findings generally replicated earlier research with European American families. The results showed that economic hardship positively relates to economic pressure in families. Economic pressure was related to the emotional distress of caregivers, which in turn was associated with problems in the caregiver relationship. These problems were related to disrupted parenting practices, which predicted lower positive child adjustment and higher internalizing and externalizing symptoms. The results provide significant support for the family stress model of economic hardship and its generalizability to diverse populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Child
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Culture
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sampling Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Videotape Recording