Longitudinal pathways to competence and psychological adjustment among African American children living in rural single-parent households

Child Dev. 2002 Sep-Oct;73(5):1505-16. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.00486.


A three-wave model linking maternal functioning to child competence and psychological adjustment was tested with 150 African American families living in the rural South. The children were 11 years old at Wave 1. Structural equation modeling indicated that maternal education and per capita income were linked with maternal psychological functioning (self-esteem, optimism, depression) at Wave 1, which forecast mothers' competence-promoting parenting 1 year later at Wave 2. Competence-promoting parenting forecast child cognitive competence, social competence, and psychological adjustment 1 year later at Wave 3, indirectly through child self-regulation. The data were reanalyzed controlling for Wave 1 child competence and adjustment. All paths remained significant, indicating that the model accounted for change in child competence and adjustment across 2 years.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • African Americans*
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Rural Population*
  • Self Concept
  • Single Parent*
  • Social Adjustment*