A Review of Childrearing in African American Single Mother Families: The Relevance of a Coparenting Framework
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- Jones, D.J., Zalot, A.A., Foster, S.E. et al. J Child Fam Stud (2007) 16: 671. doi:10.1007/s10826-006-9115-0
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Clinical research on African American single mother families has focused largely on mother-child dyads, with relatively less empirical attention to the roles of other adults or family members who often assist with childrearing. This narrow definition of “family” fails to take into account the extended family networks which often provide support for African American single mother families and the influence of these other adults on maternal parenting and youth adjustment. Our review integrates the literature on the role of extended family members, highlights the strengths and limitations of this work, and proposes the use of theory and methods from the coparenting literature to guide future study in this area. The relevance of the study of coparenting for family-based intervention efforts targeting African American youth from single mother homes is addressed.